Starbucks aiming to accelerate expansion in China

Starbucks plans to accelerate its expansion in China, shrugging off concerns about a slowdown in the coffee chain’s second-largest market behind the US and a potential further depreciation of the yuan.

The company plans to add 500 new stores up to the end of next September, up from 450 new outlets the previous year.

China is Starbucks’ fastest-growing market.

“We have no intention of slowing down and we remain optimistic and bullish on the opportunities Starbucks has in China, both in the short-term and the long-term,” said John Culver, Starbucks’ president of the China and Asia-Pacific region.

Starbucks joins SAP, the world’s biggest maker of business-management software, in expressing optimism about China, betting on a sales boost as consumption and corporate spending grows even as a decline in the yuan would erode the value of profits they generate in the country.

Volatility seen in China’s stock market is common among emerging markets and can create opportunities, Asia’s richest man Wang Jianlin said yesterday, after announcing the $3.5bn takeover of Hollywood film company Legendary Entertainment by his Dalian Wanda Group.

Concerns over China’s economy have hurt markets from Shanghai to New York, with government officials pushing back against expectations of a continued rapid depreciation of the yuan to prop up the slowing economy.

The People’s Bank of China intervened in the overseas yuan market yesterday, as the currency tumbled against the dollar.


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