Starbucks will open its first store in in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam next month, marking its expansion into 12th Asian nation. The Starbucks store in Vietnam will be operated and licenced by Hong Kong-based Maxim Group subsidiary Coffee Concept Limited. Maxim Group runs Starbucks stores in Hong Kong and Macau.
Asia is Starbucks’ fastest growing retail market where the world’s biggest coffee chain already has 3,300 stores. Starbucks aims to bring the store count to 4,000 this year, which will include 1,000 coffee shops in mainland China. The move signals Starbucks’ effort to boost sales in markets other than the US, where the chain’s growth has stagnated since 2009.
Putting behind its recent tax scandal in the UK, the coffee chain had said in December that it expects China to become its second best market by 2014, preceded only by the US. The coffee retailer also said that it plans to 1,500 more Chinese stores across 70 cities.
Starbucks is not relying upon just coffee to build its presence across Asia. In November, the coffee chain entered into a deal with Teavana, a US-based chain of tea-houses for $620m to build its base in India, China and the Middle East.
Starbucks said in a statement that it has already purchased coffee beans from Vietnam and plans to buy more coffee from Vietnam in future. Following the announcement, Starbucks shares rose 2.6% to $55 at the close in New York Stock Exchange.
Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world, preceded by Brazil. The communist-ruled country has a rich history with respect to coffee, and the country’s coffee culture is evident in the regular sightings of coffee shops in major Vietnamese cities. However, 90% of the coffee produced by Vietnam is for export purposes.