Starbucks invades China: By the numbers

The coffee colossus has plans for a massive Chinese expansion — in hopes of tempting the country's growing middle-class population

A Shanghai Starbucks location, one of approximately 500 stores currently operating in mainland China.
(Image credit: 2010 Starbucks Corporation)

Starbucks yesterday announced ambitious plans to expand into mainland China by 2015. The decision comes less than two years after the coffee giant closed hundreds of U.S. locations, citing the recession and "store oversaturation." Since then, "the company has turned around its U.S. business," says Angela Moore at MarketWatch, but it should be careful with its "aggressive expansion in China" and "heed lessons from recent years." (Watch CEO Howard Schultz discuss the move.) Here, a brief guide to Starbucks' China gambit, by the numbers:

At least 1,500

Number of stores that Starbucks wants to be operating in mainland China by 2015, tripling its current tally

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More than 16,000

Current number of Starbucks locations around the world


Number of U.S. Starbucks outlets that the company closed in 2008

About 200

Number of U.S. outlets Starbucks closed in 2009

$145 billion

Size of the world's coffee market

$945.6 million

Starbucks' net profit for fiscal 2010

200 million

Approximate size of China's middle-class population. "In the next decades, the population of China's middle-class and affluent consumers, whose annual household incomes exceed 60,000 yuan ($9,016) will nearly triple," says Carol Liao, a business consultant, as quoted in the International Business Times.


Number of Beijing residents who are worth more than $1.5 million

$2,025/year or $5.50/day

The average income in China. It's still a "relatively poor country" says Brook Larmer in the New York Times, and "the wealth from China's sustained economic boom is highly concentrated." But, this year it overtook the U.S. to become the world's second largest consumer of luxury goods, "trailing only — for the moment — Japan."


Average food expenditure per person in China


Price of a 16-ounce Starbucks latte in China. Thus far, "Starbucks has done well in China partly because of its snob appeal," say Max Magni and Yuval Atsmon in the Harvard Business Review.

Sources: Seattle Pi, Huffington Post, USA Today, New York Times (2), CNBC, Bloomberg, Harvard Business Review, International Business Times

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