Starbucks to open in Vietnam in push to increase sales in Asia

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Starbucks Corp., the world's biggest coffee-shop operator, will open its first store in Vietnam next month as it expands into its 12th Asian nation.

The cafe is scheduled to open in Ho Chi Minh City, the Seattle-based brewer said in an e-mailed statement. Hong Kong Maxim's Group subsidiary Coffee Concept Ltd., which already has stores in Hong Kong and Macau, will operate the location and is the licensee for Vietnam, Starbucks said.

Starbucks, which got 5.4 percent of fiscal 2012 revenue from the 3,300 stores in China and Asia Pacific, has been expanding in the region to help boost sales as U.S. store growth has stagnated since 2009. Asia is the largest and most immediate retail growth opportunity for Starbucks, John Culver, president of China and Asia Pacific, said at a conference in December.

Starbucks, which has more than 18,000 locations globally, already purchases beans from Vietnam and will buy more coffee from the nation in the long term, according to the statement.

In October the coffee chain opened its first store in India, where it has a partnership with Tata Global Beverages Ltd.

Starbucks' shares rose 2.6 percent to $55 at the close in New York on Jan. 2. The stock gained 17 percent last year.

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