Case study: Starbucks in China
Starbucks – A global company?
The 1971 founded company Starbucks has undergone an impressive expansion throughout the last years and as a result now is the leading coffee house retailer in the world. Due to several joint ventures, partners, and an enormous amount of directly operated stores, it is present in more than 34 countries and serves around 33 millions of customers per week.1 Moreover, the company significantly increased its global publicity within subscribing to strategic alliances with various hotels, air carriers, schools, and stadiums.
Nevertheless, Starbucks possesses an immense core business in the United States, which is based on its corporate roots in Seattle, as well as the huge market potential for coffee in this country. Consequently, the first 24 years Starbucks only operated in America, where it opened 677 stores, before expanding abroad for the first time in 1995. The strong relation to their home country becomes obvious, when considering the amount of coffeehouses: 7,302 out 10,241 stores are located in the United States and only 16% of revenue is generated in the international market.2 However, these figures do not have to indicate that Starbucks is not a global company. Due to its standardized products throughout the entire world, its consistent shop design, and almost identical pricing strategy, Starbucks cannot only be considered as a global brand, but also as a global company. Additionally, the business has recently launched a roasting facility in the Netherlands to supply the European market with beans from coffee-growing regions of Central America, Africa, and Indonesia. This development again underlines the position as a global company. Elements of the marketing environment affecting the Starbucks business in China
China offers an immense market potential for Starbucks, since it constitutes one-fifth of the world population. But looking at the Chinese market in a more depth analysis, it...
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