Starbucks Coffee International (SCI) entered the Greater China market in 1998 with the opening of its first store in Taipei, Taiwan. The first Starbucks store located in mainland China was opened in Beijing in January 1999 through a licensing agreement with Mei Da Coffee Co. Ltd. Since then, the interest in and appreciation of high-quality arabica coffee, personalized handcrafted beverages and the unique Starbucks Experience offered in Starbucks locations in
China has grown rapidly among Chinese consumers. As of the end of Q4 fiscal year 2010, there are more than 750 Starbucks locations throughout Greater China, a region including the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
In addition to offering the Starbucks Experience to customers in major metropolitan cities in Greater China, the company has also opened stores in cities such as Changzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Dongguan, Foshan, Hangzhou, Kunshan, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shaoxin, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wuxi, Wuhan, Xi’an, Zhuhai, Changsha and Fuzhou. To support the accelerated expansion into mainland China and achieve greater penetration throughout the region, the Starbucks Greater China Support Center was established in Shanghai in 2005.
Starbucks has been successful in introducing and developing a unique coffeehouse experience in Greater China. The company shares its coffee passion and expertise with customers in China by encouraging them to sample, savor and enjoy its premium coffee. The human connection has been and continues to be a hallmark of Starbucks, with partners (employees) working to strengthen that relationship within and outside Starbucks stores by participating in programs such as the Green Long March – China’s largest youth conservation movement.
To surprise and delight customers in Taiwan with a twist on the popular and familiar, Starbucks Coffee Taiwan developed and introduced the Green Tea Frappuccino® Blended Crème beverage in 2002. In November 2007 Starbucks introduced Starbucks® bottled Frappuccino® coffee drinks to Chinese consumers, extending the signature Starbucks Experience beyond Starbucks stores by making it easier for consumers to enjoy the taste they love at home, at work, or on the go.
The connection that Starbucks establishes with the communities in which it operates extends beyond the daily interactions between barista and customer and is part of the Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ commitment to community involvement. Believing that two issues vital to bettering the lives of those within the region are education and the environment, Starbucks provides monetary contributions and encourages partners to volunteer their time in support of these efforts. Demonstrating this commitment, the company announced a 34.17 million RMB (US$5 million) grant to the Starbucks China Education Project. The first donation of 12 million RMB (US$1.75 million) from this project was awarded to the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, supporting a program aimed at helping students and teachers in need in rural China. Additionally, Starbucks donated 4.1 million RMB (US$600,000) to the China Women Development Foundation, supporting a program aimed at helping Chinese women obtain access to clean drinking water. In January 2009, Starbucks allocates 5 million RMB (US$730,000) from the Starbucks China Education Project to the Chengdu Education Foundation, to sustain teachers and their students in provinces deeply impacted by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
In alliance with the American Red Cross, International Red Cross and the Red Crescent (supporting the Red Cross Society of China), The Starbucks Foundation has provided $250,000 for immediate humanitarian and long-term recovery efforts since the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In addition to this support, Starbucks Coffee Greater China has contributed $100,000 for immediate disaster relief and long-term recovery through company donations and fundraising by partners and customers.