Starbucks sees opening "hundreds' of Vietnam cafes

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Starbucks Corp., which is opening its first cafe in Vietnam today, plans to add hundreds of stores in the Asian nation.

"We will aggressively grow" in Vietnam and there will be "hundreds of stores for Starbucks," John Culver, president of the company's China and Asia Pacific region, said in a telephone interview this week. He didn't give a time frame for the expansion.

"There is definitely a pent-up demand for Starbucks coming to the country," which will be the company's 62nd nation, Culver said.

Starbucks, which has said it will have about 4,000 stores in China and Asia Pacific by the end of this year, announced in January that it was planning to open a cafe in Ho Chi Minh City. The Seattle-based brewer, which has about the same number of US stores it did two years ago, has been expanding in Asia to boost sales.

The new two-story cafe, which will be about 4,000 square feet (372 square meters) and have an outdoor patio, will sell locally-inspired items such as a roast-duck wrap and an Asian dolce latte, Culver said. Hong Kong Maxim's Group subsidiary Coffee Concepts (Vietnam) Ltd., which already has stores in Hong Kong and Macau, will operate the location and is the licensee for Vietnam.

Starbucks, which has more than 18,200 stores worldwide, will enter other Asian nations, Culver said. While the company has no locations in Laos or Cambodia, "over time, we will move into those markets," he said.

Growing economy

Vietnam's gross domestic product, or the volume of goods and services produced, expanded at 4.7 percent per capita in 2011, compared to a 1 percent gain in the US, according to the World Bank.


Starbucks: leave cà phê sữa Ä‘á alone

Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. announced earlier this week that it is planning to open units in Vietnam, where it already has Baskin-Robbins ice cream stores.

Starbucks rose 1.2 percent to $56.80 at 11:32 a.m. in New York while Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin' Brands advanced 1.1 percent to $36.91.

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