Starbucks, the world's largest coffee chain, is officially open for business in Kunming.
The company's first Yunnan location opened today in the Shuncheng Wangfujing Mall to brisk business and plenty of curiosity. Two more stores will open soon within walking distance of the Shuncheng location: one at Brilliant Plaza on Sanshi Jie and another at the new Golden Eagle mall on Weiyuan Lu.
Kunming is already well-known in China for its established café culture – the city already has dozens of independent coffee shops, many of which brew coffee with beans grown locally in Yunnan, China's largest coffee producer.
Starbucks is not only entering Yunnan by opening outlets in Kunming's fast-growing retail sector, it is also investing heavily in its first coffee production base, ironically located in Pu'er, one of China's best-known tea towns. The company also sources beans from Dehong and Baoshan prefectures.
Last November Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz visited Kunming to announce the signing of an agreement with the city of Pu'er and the Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Science to set up the production base, which is expected to help fuel the company's growth in China. The company intends to add 200 mainland stores in the near future.
In some cities around the world, the arrival of Starbucks is often feared by independent cafés, but that doesn't appear to be the case in Kunming.
"Kunming has a café culture, but most people here still primarily drink tea," one café owner told us. "The arrival of Starbucks will probably help expand the number of coffee drinkers in the city, which is good for everybody."© Copyright 2005-2019 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.