TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today reaffirmed its confidence in its Japan growth story, following a market visit by Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and ceo, where he met with Starbucks partners (employees) and customers. As Starbucks first international market outside of North America, Starbucks is on track to open its 1,000th store in Japan this summer and is looking forward to further elevating the unique and locally-relevant Starbucks Experience in the market, as the company looks beyond its 1,000th store milestone.
“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,” stated Schultz. “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 celebrated the opening of the new Starbucks® Meguro store in Tokyo; its store design and experience has been inspired by the traditional Japanese ‘Ichi-go ichi-e’ service spirit (literal translation: one time, one meeting). Opened within the same building where the new Starbucks Coffee Japan Support Center is located, this 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. “The Starbucks® Meguro store represents the importance of those single moments of connection and our 41-year heritage.”
The Starbucks® Meguro store is built to LEED® certified standards and Japan today ranks 4th in overall number of stores that are LEED certified across Starbucks markets. Japan was our first market in Asia to certify a LEED store.
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. The first store likens the Starbucks® Pike Place store in Seattle – the place where the legendary Starbucks Experience started in Japan – and it continues to stand proud in the county’s most famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district.
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest-quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.com.