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