Starbucks to Open 400+ Stores in Asia Pacific

The expansion includes locations outside of major cities as well as drive-thru locations.

February 17, 2023

HONG KONG—Starbucks is expanding its presence in Asia Pacific this year, opening more than 400 stores, reports CNN. This is the largest expansion for the company in the region in five years. Locations are planned for India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos and the Philippines. Starbucks plans to open locations beyond major cities in these countries.

“The Asia Pacific region will continue to be a key growth driver for Starbucks globally, and we remain optimistic of its long-term growth and opportunities, underpinned by a growing middle class and rising coffee consumption,” said Michael Conway, Starbucks’ president of international and channel development, in a statement.

Conway said the company is capitalizing on the reopening of Asia after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are seeing headwinds shifting to tailwinds across markets around the world, including the Asia Pacific region, and continued recovery coming out of the pandemic,” he said in the statement.

Starbucks also plans to introduce new store formats in the region, pointing to a location with a drive-thru it opened in South Korea. It plans to open over 100 new drive-thru format Starbucks in Asia Pacific, which would bring the total of such formats in the region to 700.

Drive-thrus are becoming more popular as customers look for more convenience, according to Emmy Kan, Starbuck’s Asia Pacific president.

In the three months ended January 1, Starbucks reported revenue in Asia Pacific up 20% year over year. However, same-stores sales in China were down 29% in the same time period for stores open at least 13 months.

“COVID-related headwinds that unfolded in China” were the reason for the sales declines, according to Starbucks’ interim CEO Howard Schultz. However, he told analysts that “markets outside of China performed even better than we thought.”

Join NACS and convenience retailers in Bangkok for a discussion of the future of last-mile services in Asia at NACS Convenience Summit Asia, February 28 to March 2, 2023. Registration is open.