The head of Starbucks’ international businesses said the coffee chain is sticking to its expansion plan for the Chinese market despite recent signs that coffee demand is cooling off.
“Even with the [latest GDP] numbers, it’s one of the fastest growing economies in the world,” John Culver, head of Starbucks’ operations outside the US, told the FT. He added that the company still plans to open nearly 600 new cafes in China over the next year.
Data for the last quarter of 2018 showed that coffee sales at shops in China open 13 months or more only grew 1%, down from 6% the same time a year before. But the fact that the company opened hundreds of new outlets last year meant that Starbucks’ total revenue in the country nearly doubled to $652 million last year.
“We are committed to the strategy we have in place,” said Culver, adding that he has “firm belief” in the Chinese market in the “short, middle and long term.”