Starbucks announced it is expanding its presence in Japan, building 100 new stores annually over the next three years to bring its store count to 1,700.
“The strength of our brand in Japan, the momentum in our business, and the spirit of our partners who proudly wear the green apron give me great confidence in our ability to elevate the Customer Experience and drive growth to continue to build our brand,” Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “We continue to thoughtfully evolve within Japan’s elevated coffee culture to maintain a leadership position and achieve profitable growth for the long-term.”
In addition, the company announced it will open the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Tokyo on February 28, 2019 in the Nakameguro district. This is the fifth Starbucks Roastery globally, but the Tokyo location will be the first of its kind, designed and built in collaboration with world-renowned architect and Kuma Lab founder, Kengo Kuma.
“Starbucks Japan was built as a performance-driven company, guided through the lens of humanity, from the time of our first store opening in Tokyo in 1996,” added Takafumi Minaguchi, chief executive officer, Starbucks Japan. “We continue to set the pace for innovation and service for Starbucks globally by focusing on creating genuine human connection in our stores and positively impacting the communities we serve.”
In other news, Starbucks is also partnering with Uber Eats Japan on a food and beverage delivery service in Tokyo. The pilot will be available in six stores: three locations in Tokyo, two in Shinjuku and one in Roppongi. And the company is teaming up with Line on various technologies, including digital payment, while Starbucks Japan will begin piloting a mobile order and pay program in 2019 so that customers can order and pay from their mobile device, and pick-up in store.