"No Western company or brand is better positioned to evolve with the rapidly expanding Chinese middle class - and we continue to mindfully evolve a coffee culture in China where the reward will be healthy, long-term, profitable growth for decades to come".
An expansive success so far, Starbucks, the American coffee chain, has announced that it will double its store count to 6000 outlets over the next five years.
This would amount to opening roughly 600 new Starbucks a year in China, or one every 15 hours, which would mark a considerable increase over the company's previous goal to build around 500 a year.
Revenue for the China/Asia Pacific region in its last financial year was $3.24 billion while its operating income ended at $754.7 million. It has around 3,300 stores in 141 cities in China now. Consumers are also shopping more at home, shunning brick-and-mortar retail for e-commerce.
While the same sales of the stores in the U.S. have not reached the expectations, robust performance in the new stores in the Stateside means its business is on track again for delivering the anticipated rate of growth in the U.S., Johnson said.
The U.S. coffee chain, which recently raised $7.15 billion in a deal with Nestle SA, aims to have 6,000 stores in the country by the end of 2022, it said in a statement. Switzerland-based Nestle can now sell Starbucks-branded packaged coffee products in Chinese supermarkets, restaurants and catering operations. Besides its bottled Frappucinos and cold brews, the company will add chilled cups in June.
The 8.1 billion yuan (S$1.7 billion) ready-to-drink coffee market in China is now dominated by Nestle with 71 per cent market share, according to data from Euromonitor International.
The growth is helping the coffee chain create 10,000 jobs per year in China, where the company is keen to set itself apart by offering generous employee benefits, including health insurance for the parents of employees in a country where children often care for aging family members.
"Starbucks is committed to playing the long game in China and is proud to be an integral part of the local community for almost 20 years", said Belinda Wong, Starbucks China Chief Executive Officer.