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A successful coffee tale from a true believer

Update Date:2016-1-29 15:43:57 Source:BeiJing Tannet Views:777
Seventeen years ago, when Starbucks Corp opened its first store in Beijing, the idea was flayed by many as they felt that coffee did not have a chance in a tea-drinking nation like China.

"That has all changed. We now have 2,000 stores in 90 Chinese cities and the country is probably the largest international market for us, even larger than the United States," said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the US-based global coffee chain Starbucks Corp.

Despite the economic challenges, China has a brilliant future, said Schultz. "I am not saying this just because the middle class population in the country is doubling from 300 million to 600 million. It also has a lot to do with the humane nature of Chinese people and their penchant for hard work. I have seen for myself what can happen when a young Chinese person puts on a green apron," he said.

Schultz recently spoke to China Daily about Starbucks' company culture, its local business strategies and the secret to its success. The following are edited excerpts.

Starbucks sales in China and Asia Pacific market increased 9 percent in 2015 compared with the previous year. What has propelled the growth and how do you plan to sustain the momentum this year?

Our success has not just been in Shanghai or Beijing, but also in the second- and third-tier cities. Starbucks has stores in more than 90 cities in China now.

I think we are now a brand that is trusted by Chinese customers. The quality of the experience and the strengths of our partners bring Starbucks to life.

The article transsshipment from China Daily

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