Starbucks Coffee Company opens in Ho Chi Minh City
Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) opened the doors to the first Starbucks store in Vietnam in February 2013, following an expanded long-term relationship with Hong Kong Maxim’s Group. This flagship store, which has been designed to reflect Starbucks 42-year coffee heritage, while embracing Vietnam’s distinctive local traditions and coffee culture, is nestled in the aspirational lifestyle neighborhood of Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1, at the junction of the bustling Nga Sau Phu Dong. The opening of the two-story store was officiated by Mr. Huynh Khanh Hiep, Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade, and it marks the beginning of the global iconic brand’s Vietnam journey. Vietnam is Starbucks 12th market across the China and Asia Pacific region.
“Vietnam is one of the most dynamic and exciting coffee markets in Asia and we are proud to be entering the market with Hong Kong Maxim’s Group, a close and long-term partner that shares many of the same values that Starbucks was founded on,” said John Culver, president, Starbucks China and Asia Pacific. “The market presents tremendous opportunity for Starbucks over the long term. Ho Chi Minh City is our first stop and we aim to open our stores in key metropolitan cities across Vietnam, including Hanoi, in the future.”
“We are honored to open our doors to our Vietnamese customers today,” added Jinlong Wang, president, Starbucks Asia Pacific. “The Starbucks Vietnam growth story goes beyond just future store footprint expansion. We have deep respect for Vietnam’s long coffee traditions and we want to ensure that our Starbucks Experience is the right balance between the global offering that our customers have come to expect of us, as well as a locally-relevant familiarity that resonates with customers and the communities we serve.”
Today, Starbucks® premiered its latest espresso beverage innovation, the Starbucks® Asian Dolce Latte, as part of its Vietnam first store opening celebrations. Motivated by how coffee is favored in many parts of Asia — strong, yet smooth and flavored, the new Starbucks Asian Dolce Latte that has been inspired by Vietnam’s coffee culture and habits, was developed specially for the Asian market; a firm demonstration of Starbucks commitment to providing locally relevant offerings in the region. Created with a double-shot of premium, dark-roasted Starbucks® French Roast and a specially developed dolce sauce, innovation in the Starbucks Asian Dolce Latte comes from the uniquely flavored dolce sauce, which is crafted using different types of milk to give the beverage a distinct smooth and rich velvety texture that is local to the Asian palette.
Starbucks® extensive product portfolio in its first store in Vietnam also includes its handcrafted Starbucks® Frappuccino® beverages, Starbucks® Tea and a broad food offering boasting a wide selection of western favorites, as well as locally-relevant flavor reflected in items such as the Parisian Baguette and the Roast Duck Wrap.
As previously announced, Starbucks has granted Hong Kong Maxim’s Group subsidiary, Coffee Concepts (Vietnam), the licensing agreement to operate Starbucks® stores and to maximize the growth potential of the Starbucks brand in Vietnam.
“This is an exciting new chapter for the partnership between Maxim’s and Starbucks in Asia,” said Michael Wu, Chairman and Managing Director, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group. “I am confident that our Starbucks® stores in Vietnam will become a community gathering place in Vietnam. We look forward to offering the highest quality arabica coffee, handcrafted Starbucks® beverages and locally-relevant food in an unparalleled store environment.”
The design of the Starbucks® flagship store in Vietnam reflects the vibrance of cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City and still retains the city’s pride for its distinct local heritage. The magnificent space will provide customers new opportunities for discovery, a high level of engagement with Starbucks partners (employees), and a deep connection to Starbucks coffee heritage. The store features numerous décor items that have been sourced locally, repurposed and given a new life in the first Starbucks store, including the distinctive Starbucks community table, whose teakwood surface was recycled from a local villa, and an old ‘ba gac’ (bicycle), which was traditionally used to transport goods around the city in the past, now stands as a central piece of artwork on the ground floor of the store. The store also showcases wall mural designs created by local artists.
Starbucks firmly believes that its success is only possible when there are thriving communities where it does business. In Vietnam, Starbucks is committed to leveraging its scale for good to advocate and effect positive change in the neighborhoods where its partners and customers live and work. Toward this, as part of the store opening celebrations, more than 40 Starbucks partners gathered, at the “Vua Hoc Vua Lam 15/5” school, in District 1, on 30 January 2013, where they spent the day repainting the school walls and interacting with the students, bringing them immense joy and laughter ahead of Vietnam’s Tet celebrations (Vietnam New Year). The 15/5 school has, for more than 20 years, provided tuition and shelter for underprivileged children in the district.
Along with exploring more social community projects in the future, Starbucks will continue to promote responsible business practices and production standards within its existing and prospective supply chains with the local coffee farming communities. Ultimately, Starbucks aims to leverage its global coffee leadership and share its coffee knowledge and expertise to help elevate facets of the Vietnam coffee industry, help local farmers promote responsible coffee-growing practices and develop localized high-quality arabica coffee. The company is also committed to sourcing more high quality arabica beans from Vietnam moving forward.
Starbucks currently operates more than 3,400 stores across the China and Asia Pacific region and employs more than 50,000 partners (employees) in the region.