Retail in Asia

Asia’s picks for the week

Starbucks to add over 400 stores across APAC in 2023

Starbucks today opened its 5,000th outlet in APAC (excluding China and Japan), unveiling a 500-square-metre drive-thru store strategically located in South Korea’s Gwangyang-si district. The coffee giant has achieved a net store growth in Asia Pacific of 8 percent over the past 12 months, with plans to continue significant expansion across the region.

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The opening “reaffirms our commitment to bring the Starbucks experience to more customers in one of our fastest growing regions,” said Michael Conway, group president, International and Channel Development for Starbucks. Its Asia stores achieved more than 20 percent sales growth year on year, and more than 400 additional stores are in the pipeline, in metropolitan areas and beyond.

Pictured:  Starbucks’ newest store in Gwangyang-si, South Korea. Source: Starbucks

In India, Starbucks will extend its footprint into at least five new cities to add to an existing portfolio of over 300 stores across 40 cities. New branches are also set to open beyond traditionally served major urban areas in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

A contrast to its Starbucks Reserve concept – which is designed for a more immersive, multi-sensory coffee experience and currently numbers 145 stores across 11 Asia Pacific markets – drive-thru stores are also a focus for Starbucks. With over 600 branches in its portfolio, Starbucks’ drive-thru stores in Asia have more than doubled in the last four years, plotted in residential areas to become a ‘third place’ in the neighbourhood.

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Emmy Kan, president for Starbucks Asia Pacific, said, “That our 5,000th store in Asia Pacific is a drive-thru store speaks both to the changing habits of our customers, and of our determination to meet them where it is most convenient. We will continually enhance our store formats and innovate, not just to cater to changing customer behaviours, but also to fuel growth in Asia Pacific.”