Starbucks Coffee Korea’s sales exceeded 1 trillion won ($870 million) for the first time last year, 17 years after opening its first shop near Ewha Womans University in Seoul in July 1999, the company said Thursday.
Strong brand competiveness, effective marketing and optimal localization are behind the success of the Korean unit of the Seattle-based coffee chain, according to company officials, who said its sales will continue to grow at a double-digit rate for the foreseeable future.
The coffee chain, headed by CEO Lee Seock-koo, said it earned 1.03 trillion won in sales last year, up 29.6 percent from 774 billion won in 2015. Its operating profit soared 81.2 percent to 85.4 billion won.
Its tea brand Teavana, introduced here last September, has been further propelling the company’s sales growth.
The company operates 1,008 stores nationwide and employs 10,552 people.
Over the years, Starbucks Coffee Korea, a 50-50 joint venture between Starbucks Coffee and Shinsegae Group, has been widening the gap with its rivals such as Coffee Bean, Angel-in-us Coffee and A Twosome Place, which make between 100 to 200 billion won a year.
“We have been a trendsetter in the coffee industry since our entry here in 1999,” a Starbucks Coffee Korea official said. “The company has become the most popular brand of the rapidly growing freshly brewed coffee culture.”
Its efforts to roll out new products and offer innovative IT-based services have attracted Korean consumers, particularly those in their 20s and 30s, the official said.
“Starbucks Korea has also successfully localized its operations as it can make the best use of Shinsegae’s knowhow and expertise,” he said. “In addition to our expanding community service programs, the growing partnership with farmers and small businesses here has further bolstered sales and improved the image of the Starbucks brand.”
(Source: The Korea Times)