The company said it will build 300 new stores in Japan by 2021.
While China is one of Starbucks’ two most important markets globally, the company has other business to do in Asia.
The coffee giant said late Wednesday it plans to accelerate growth plans in Japan — a market it first entered 22 years ago — by opening 300 new stores in the next three years and bringing its total there to 1,700.
Starbucks saw same-store sales in Japan grow 3 percent during its fiscal fourth quarter, the best it’s done in the last seven quarters. China, by contrast, saw same store sales grow 1 percent — an improvement from the 2 percent decline Starbucks reported for its fiscal third quarter.
Starbucks also plans to begin delivering coffee to Japanese customers through a partnership with Uber Eats after a test it announced with the company in Miami in September. The Japan delivery program will begin modestly, with delivery from five locations starting Thursday, but the company said intends to scale it up in the next two years.
Most Read Business Stories
- Boeing and FAA give more signs of preparations for a 737 MAX return to flight
- Amazon is harnessing ‘strange’ growth of independent sellers with new tools
- Boeing will hire hundreds of temporary employees at Moses Lake as it prepares for 737 MAX's return to service
- Seattle Times readers offer their own Amazon reviews
- Hot-pink 'emoji house' is eyeing a new owner in Manhattan Beach
The company sees delivery as an increasingly important part of its growth strategy. It plans to offer delivery from 2,000 stores in 30 Chinese cities by the end of the year as part of a partnership with Alibaba Group.
Starbucks said it has developed specialty lids, tamper-proof seals and thermal packaging in a bid to maintain the quality of delivered coffee drinks.
In Japan, Starbucks is teaming up with social-networking company Line for promotions and a version of mobile order and pay technology beginning next year.
MORE ON STARBUCKS: