business

Starbucks on track to open 1,000th store in Japan

33 Comments

Starbucks Coffee Co is on track to open its 1,000th store in Japan this summer, CEO Howard Schultz says.

Japan was Starbucks' first international market outside of North America, and Schultz said he is looking forward "to further elevating the unique and locally-relevant Starbucks experience" in the market.

“Joining Starbucks partners in Tokyo today, as Starbucks Coffee Japan celebrates record revenue and profit for 2012, I am incredibly proud of this team and thankful for the authentic way they have delivered the Starbucks Experience to customers in Japan,” Schultz said on Friday. “We will soon exceed 1,000 stores in Japan, an important milestone in our development, and we are confident that there is plenty of opportunity for more innovative growth and development in this dynamic market.

"Starbucks will continue to grow in a way that reflects our local customer and the communities we serve – through innovative store designs and formats, locally-relevant beverage and food offerings, continued investments to build an even more engaging digital experience, and an unparalleled in-store Starbucks Experience. Our partners are the key to our continued success and the passion and commitment I witnessed during my market visit gives me every confidence that these are still the early days of our growth in Japan.”

Schultz was in Tokyo to open the new Starbucks Meguro store in Tokyo. Its store design and experience have been inspired by the traditional Japanese "Ichi-go ichi-e" service spirit (literal translation: one time, one meeting). Opened within the same building as the new Starbucks Coffee Japan Support Center, Schultz said the Meguro store aims to highlight Starbucks mission - "to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time, and will serve to guide the company as it expands its store portfolio in Japan."

In celebrating the Starbucks brand and taking it beyond 1,000 stores, the Meguro store features locally relevant, simple design solutions that support the creation of powerful moments of connection. The design takes queues from traditional tea houses, as well as modern craftsmanship and translucent elements that allow consistent interactivity between customers and partners. Parts of a green garden and local contemporary art are also featured in the store. These elements provide another point of connection with the local community and culture.

“Innovation and an enhanced, yet relevant, customer experience are critical to our success in Japan. It is about that single moment of connection between the barista and our customer as they walk in our store and we deliver the perfect hand-crafted beverage that differentiates the Starbucks Experience for our customers,” added Schultz.

Since the opening of its first store in Ginza, Tokyo, back in August 1996, Starbucks has forged a deep emotional connection with the local community and customers across 46 prefectures in Japan.

© BusinessWire

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33 Comments
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Since the opening of its first store in Ginza, Tokyo, back in August 1996, Starbucks has forged a deep emotional connection with the local community and customers across 46 prefectures in Japan.

meaning : doing business at reasonable price. congratulations !

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I can understand how Starbucks succeeds in North America where there was a crying need for decent coffee but Japan has many small friendly coffee shops that have always served good coffee.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Starbucks has forged a deep emotional connection with the local community and customers across 46 prefectures in Japan.

So I guess this is the quiz question of the day? Which prefecture doesn't have a Starbucks? (Yet!) lol!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Starbucks: A pioneer of Japan's no-smoking movement. Love it.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

doing business at reasonable price

Reasonable price? Not really! Convenient to some, overkill to others. Personally speaking, take-it or leave-it!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Reading this article I can't help thinking about the Simpson's episode where they go to the mall and it's full of Starbucks outlets.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Kochi prefecture has only 1 Starbucks. It's always packed. Build more out here in Shikoku damnit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hate starbucks.

Its the way people say they "need some coffee" and then go and get something covered in cream, chocolate, with about 5 tablespoons of sugar in it, and needs to be eaten (Drunk?) with a spoon..

To me, that is not coffee. Its a pudding.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Japan has many small friendly coffee shops that have always served good coffee.

True, but at least where I live, they are all full of smokers. I want to enjoy coffee without smelling like an ashtray afterwards.

Starbucks experience

Trying to find a place to sit in Starbucks is the same as trying to find a place to sit in McDonalds at lunch time, and therefore not an experience I would exactly call pleasant. Starbucks would be great if there were less people.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I loved Starbucks when I was in Japan 1996/1997; had been to nothing like it in the UK at that time. With all this expansion I wonder if quality has suffered these days.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Starbucks would be great if there were less people.

Then it wouldn't be Starbucks!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Starbucks:American marketing at its best,but only for the name. The coffee is overpriced, and not even good coffee, they hide the so called quality under all the junk(fancy names) they mix with it.If we talk just about the coffee, McDonalds and MrDoughnuts and even the 100円 7/11 serve a better quality coffee.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I like the Starbucks atmosphere. It is a good tonic for when I am feeling tired. I always walk out feeling rejuvenated. The staff at my neighborhood store know me, so that helps. And I like some of their food items, too.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The answer to your quiz of the day is "Tottori prefecture"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Starbucks is on my list when I travel to Japan, they closed about 80% of their stores here in Australia and there are none in my state.

The coffee is reasonable and staff friendly, I agree, hard to find a seat sometimes as like all places in Japan there is a dearth of places to just sit and relax.

Oh and the marble cakes and macaroons are yummy too!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Only 1000? I thought there was a lot more that. Yokohama has a ton of them. They're literally across the street from each other in some places.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

With all this expansion I wonder if quality has suffered these days.

It hasn't. Starbucks in Japan takes much better care making their drinks than Starbucks in the States, just like most other chain stores that have opened over here.

I also can't overstate my praise for their across-the-board no-smoking policy. The omnipresence of Starbucks in my hometown of NYC used to really drive me nuts. But in Japan, unlike New York, Starbucks is pretty much the only place a person can go and enjoy some free time in a totally smoke-free environment, so my opinion on them completely flipped. Here's hoping they keep expanding into smaller towns and rural areas.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I am by no means a Starbucks hater, but these days the only coffee I purchase from them are the bags of whole beans. My favorites are the Breakfast Blend, Kenya, and Caffe Verona. I agree with those who say that the no-smoking atmosphere is nice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan has many small friendly coffee shops that have always served good coffee

along with a good ole dose of emphysema.

I dont like Starbucks coffee persay, but I do like the atmosphere in there. The food is not too bad either. I was shocked when I came to the US at how bad the Starbucks food offerings here are in comparison to over there. I assumed it would all be the same. My kids were gutted that they didnt have sugar doughnuts here! I go to Peets now - much better scones!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Considering their prices and their nutritional value, Starbucks is one of the worse options out here in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think Starbucks sucks! Way over priced!!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Tully's, any day! Better service, greater tasting coffee, less of a line up and less expensive! Too many Starbucks and too may MacDonald's, in Japan!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I really like Starbucks here...not for the coffee ( its definately not the best coffee around ) but for the atmosphere...its a nice place to come and unwind if you go outside of peak times and avoid their busiest stores. They are also generally pretty clean and well looked after in terms of presentation - which was often not the case back home. I remember their CEO once famously stating in an interview that their mission in marketplace was not that of providing the best coffee but the best place / environment to enjoy it. In Japan I think they are pretty good at providing that. Their "cool" American brand image here is also a big plus in the eyes of the brand loving Japanese consumer. Overall I have to say I do enjoy the Starbucks Japan experience.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Only 1000? I thought there was a lot more that. Yokohama has a ton of them. They're literally across the street from each other in some places.

Yea, I would have ventured to guess that they left off a zero, and they meant, 10,000 th store...

And 997 of them are jammed packed with kids, 17 ~ 30, standing room only. I wish I would have had, 20,000 ~ 30,000 yen per week to spend on Coffee, Frappuccino's and Latte's when I was 20 years old, must be nice to have mommy and daddy, not only paying tuition, but the apartment and plenty of starbucks spending money...

They just need to star Enforcing NO Smoking on the Terraces now...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I think people like the vibe at Starbucks. People, decor, drinks, snacks all at one place. Without question Bucks has the best snacks and variety of drinks. The staff are usually on the ball too and keep the shops in good order. I rarely make it to the trash to dump my tray, the staff always willingly take it from me. Starbucks seems to be a pretty good place to chill out. Not sure how they treat their staff though ie. pay, benefits, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would love to see decaf coffee in Starbucks

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kathleen - they DO have decaf coffee in starbucks, but you have to wait like 10 minutes for them to make it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Way tooooo expensive for no table service and just average coffee quality. Not mentioning it is a waste of time due to this coffee cocktails that take age to get prepared for the ones before me in the queue.

In similar concept, Segafredo is definitely far above SB.

And as a smoker I find much better places than that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For the true coffee lovers - even for these complex cocktail ones - give a try to the Streamer in Shibuya. You will never put your feet back in an SB 1KM around.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The staff are usually on the ball too

Found ourselves in Mito at 5pm on a Sunday. A great day behind us and long drive ahead, so I needed coffee.

Waited ten minutes to get served, and darling decided she needed an everythingbutthekitchensinkacinno. Got my coffee, before being told there was a waiting time of twenty minutes for the frappalappadingdong.

Could do better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

what does a tall/grande 本日のコーヒ go for these days at Starbucks japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sick of the lattes and many of the other drinks - I shudder to think how much sugar is in all that stuff. Last time I went, one drink and a small cake cost the same as the filling lunch I'd just had at a nice restaurant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Found ourselves in Mito at 5pm on a Sunday. A great day behind us and long drive ahead, so I needed coffee. Waited ten minutes to get served, and darling decided she needed an everythingbutthekitchensinkacinno. Got my coffee, before being told there was a waiting time of twenty minutes for the frappalappadingdong. Could do better.

So one bad experience equals bad customer service for the whole chain?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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