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Starbucks looks to 400 outlets here

Murray Darling, managing director of Starbucks Coffee (Thailand), uses a chalkboard yesterday to mark the celebration of the 200th store opening and 16th anniversary of operations in this country, at FastFac Mini Factory, Wang Noi, Ayutthaya province.

Murray Darling, managing director of Starbucks Coffee (Thailand), uses a chalkboard yesterday to mark the celebration of the 200th store opening and 16th anniversary of operations in this country, at FastFac Mini Factory, Wang Noi, Ayutthaya province.

Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee yesterday celebrated the opening of its 200th outlet in Thailand, with plans to double that figure within five years.

The new business is located at the FastFac Mini Factory in Wang Noi, Ayutthaya.

Starbucks Coffee (Thailand) managing director Murray Darling said that the company would open more than 30 new Starbucks every year over the next three to five years.

He said that Starbucks, which was approaching 20 years of operation in Thailand, was a pioneer in developing the premium coffee house market in the country. Thailand was now one of the company's top-10 markets in the world in terms of the number of coffee houses and sales.

"We are able to successfully develop the market," he said. "We provide our coffee lovers the best store experience.

"We want to be the best in class in our products, services, and store experiences. Every Starbucks store will have their own feel of uniqueness." Darling said that Starbucks serves over 1.8 million cups of coffee per month in Thailand and the company wanted double-digit growth in Thailand over the next five years.

He said the number of premium coffee houses in the Thai market had increased from some 1,000 stores five years ago to over 2,000 today. Starbucks had 150 outlets three years ago.

"In Thailand, only 30 per cent of the total population are coffee drinkers. We have seen greater potential to grow the market as well as consumption frequency," he said.

Darling said that its Thai consumers visited Starbucks four times a month on average, with loyalty customers visiting 15 times a month on average.

"Starbucks is not just only providing a premium coffee experience, but is also a place for people to connect, hang out and relax," he said.

Darling said that nearly 20 new Starbucks would be opened in the second half of the year and the company had opened its first three drive-through outlets, with another two to open this year.






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