Starbucks to Triple Its Store Count In China ; Starbucks Corp. plans to more than triple the number of stores it has in mainland China in the next five years, the company said Wednesday. Starbucks plans to make China its largest market outside the U.S. Right now, Canada is the company's second-largest market. The Seattle-based coffee chain currently has 406 stores in China and plans to have more than 1,500 by 2015, the company said at an investor conference in New York.
The company, which has recently enjoyed a turnaround in the U.S., is trying to focus on expanding its international business, with plans to open 400 new stores around the world next year. Starbucks will continue rolling out its Via instant coffee, customizable frappuccino drinks and Starbucks rewards cards internationally,Starbucks International President John Culver told investors Mr. Culver said the chain plans to penetrate its 53 international markets more deeply, with an emphasis on China, where store operating profits are higher than they are in the U.S.
Most of its business in China comes in the afternoon and evening and Starbucks is trying to create a morning coffee ritual for Chinese consumers, Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz said.