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Starbucks Opens a Store in China Every 15 Hours

Coffeehouse chain is building more new company-operated stores in China than in the United States.
December 7, 2017

​NEW YORK – This week on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Belinda Wong, the CEO of Starbucks in China, said that one new Starbucks location is opening in China every 15 hours, making China the coffeehouse chain’s second largest and fastest growing market—and a market that should eclipse the U.S. market. CNBC notes that Starbucks already operates more than 3,000 stores in China and has 2,000 more planned by 2021.

This week Starbucks opened a 30,000-square-foot Reserve Roastery in Shanghai, which is twice the size of its flagship Roastery location in Seattle.

“To us, we open 500-plus stores a year, but to us, it's not about 500. It's about opening a store 500 different times because you're in a different neighborhood and we've got to build that relationship with our customer,” Wong told CNBC.

Wong noted that in China, baristas and shift supervisors receive a housing allowance subsidy, which is intended to help employees who have likely just finished college with greater financial security.

CNBC notes that Starbucks in China is serving more than 5 million customers per week, with most visits taking place between 1 pm and 3 pm. However, stores are beginning to see more customers adopt a U.S. consumer pattern of drinking coffee during the morning daypart.