India holds potential in top 5 markets: Starbucks

World’s largest coffee chain, Starbucks launched its 100th store in India in central Mumbai and announced that they plan to step in Kolkata next year, its seventh city in the country.  Coffee retailer’s Group President of International Operations and Channel Development, John Culver, said he foresees India as one of its top five markets in the future. “We are committed to long-term investment in India and will focus on scaling up operations here.”

 

Starbucks’ five biggest markets are US, Canada, China, Japan and UK. It operates in India via a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with Tata Global Beverages called Tata Starbucks. “We wish to strengthen our relationship with Tata Global Beverages and look towards opportunities to source different types of tea, apart from coffee, and to take some of the unique flavours here abroad and vice versa.”

 

Culver added, the retailer would look at tapping the growing e-commerce channel in India and a possible tie-up with partner Tata group for the same. “India is an exciting digital market and 25 per cent of our transactions (in the country) come from our mobile application and loyalty programme (Starbucks Rewards Programme). We will focus on building our digital relationship in India for growth. The company would continue to evaluate new cities and look at scaling up store count.”

 

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