The oversaturation of Starbucks stores has long been a running joke in pop culture, featuring in everything from the Simpsons to Shrek 2. Now, the American coffee giant has unveiled its plans to conquer the Chinese market at an unprecedented rate.
Starbucks announced in Tuesday plans to compete with KFC in order to become the fastest growing foreign food chain in China with a staggering aim – a new store open every 15 hours for the next four years.
In a country where the middle class is on the rise, Starbucks has managed to corner the casual coffee market. China has become increasingly important to Starbucks, propping the company up as sales in the US decline. The plans were unveiled in the midst of the Trump administration’s own plans to increase trade tariffs with China, something which could have repercussions for the plan. In spite of this, 120 investors registered a vote of confidence in the plan.
“China has a long runway of opportunity for Starbucks,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson at a two-day investor conference in Shanghai. “We can’t control what happens in the geopolitical situation. We are not immune to it, but we take a long-term view.”