Starbucks Keen to Propagate Finest Coffee Culture

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), May 2, 2000 | Go to article overview

Starbucks Keen to Propagate Finest Coffee Culture


The CEO of Starbucks Coffee Co., visiting on the occasion of opening a fourth store in Korea, sees a bright future for business in Korea.

``We do very little advertising and promotion, but our stores are busy and frequented in every country. There are no secret sources. It is not a high-tech industry, and Starbucks stands for an uncompromising commitment in terms of coffee quality and its relationship with customers. Every staff will try to exceed the expectations of clients. Success is not granted and we have to earn it everyday. We assure that we will earn it,'' says Howard Schutz, chairman of the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee.

The new outlet located in Myongdong, downtown Seoul, is the largest in the world and offers a selection of more than 15 varieties and blends of the finest coffee.

Schultz, 47, a man behind the company's fast expansion in and outside the United States, said, ``Coffee is one of the finest beverages that brings people together. Starbucks has been the third place for our guests between their home and work. More than 10 million people visit a Starbucks every week because of their trust in the quality of coffee, atmosphere and people serving coffee.''

``Koreans are very passionate about coffee and the signs are very bright for the growth of our presence in this country, which is one of the leading coffee consumers in Asia but so far has a very narrow market for brewed coffee,'' he said.

In Korea, 85 percent of the market is occupied by instant coffee. That means Starbucks, a premier purveyor of fine coffee, has a great market potential. In Japan, the brewed coffee market has expanded explosively in recent years and currently outperforms instant coffee in market share.

The U.S. company, in partnership with ESCO Korea Co., will increase its number of stores in Korea to 10 by the end of the year including the fifth to open at the ASEM building next month. The first three outlets are all in Seoul, near Ewha Womans University, on Taehangno and near Kangnam subway station.

As to Starbucks' unique coffee profile, the chairman said, ``Over 30 years, we have only used finest Arabica coffee beans, roasted in a unique fashion and blended with high artistry and kept the freshness without any parallel to our competitors.''

When Schultz first joined the company in the early 1980s as director of retail operations, Starbucks was a local, highly respected roaster and retailer of whole bean and ground coffees based in Seattle. …

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