Starbucks coming to Vietnam this December

TN News

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Starbucks Coffee, the global top coffee chain already in over 60 countries worldwide, will add Vietnam to its list next month after years of market research in the Southeast Asian nation.

A source told thesaigontimes.vn under the condition of anonymity that the first Starbucks in Vietnam will be in Ho Chi Minh City. The company plans to then open stores throughout the country via franchise agreement.

The US-based company will open three to five stores in downtown HCMC next year, Chris Brown, CEO of Cushman & Wakefield Vietnam, a property broker and consultant responsible for finding suitable locations for Starbucks outlets in Vietnam, told the Doanh Nhan Saigon.

Details about Starbucks' operation in Vietnam will be released at a December press conference with a high-ranking representative of the company, thesaigontimes.vn reported Wednesday without confirming the date.

Many experts said its entry will be a threat to local coffee chains, while some argued that it will make the market "more vibrant," according to thesaigontimes.vn.

Beginning at early as 1993, Starbucks had submitted 36 applications for protection of intellectual property to the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam, Tran Le Hong from the office said.

The coffee giant confirmed to the media last year that it will enter Vietnam before 2013, adding it was "excited" about Vietnamese market's prospects.

Starbucks now has more than 18,000 stores globally as of September 30, a 6 percent increase from a year ago, according to a Starbucks Coffee Company press release on November 1. It confirmed its presence in many Asian nations, including China, India, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand.

Its total revenue in the current fiscal year is up 14 percent over the prior year to US$13.3 billion , the release said.

The company also unveiled its fiscal targets for 2013, saying that it plans to open roughly 1,300 new outlets around the world, with about 46 percent of them in China and the greater Asia/Pacific region. It also forecast a revenue growth of up to 13 percent.

Several foreign coffee chain operators, including the US's Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Australia's Gloria Jean's Coffees, entered Vietnam, joining leading local coffee companies Trung Nguyen Coffee and Highlands Coffee, making the market a virtual battleground. 

The two foreign coffee chains also came to Vietnam through franchising.  

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