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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Starbucks freshening up Japanese consumers more

(By Razib Ahmed)
I always knew that Japanese the country of tea. Even Japanese girls learn serving tea in a decorative way. Well, that seems to be related to old Japan. The new Japan adores coffee and not just any kind of coffee but Starbucks coffee. Starbucks is a company which owns retail coffee shops in many parts of the world. I visited the website of Starbucks Japan and at first, I felt a bit afraid to see everything was in Japanese language. However, I discovered that there was an English language version. I am quoting from the website:
" Since the opening of our first store on August 2, 1996, in the Ginza district of Tokyo, our network has expanded rapidly throughout the country. Starbucks has reached the milestone of 500 stores with the opening of Nagoya Fushimi AT Building store in November, 2003."
(Source: http://www.starbucks.co.jp/en/company_info.htm )
Now Starbucks has nearly 600 stories in Japan and today Starbucks Japan posted 51.4% increase in its profit in fiscal year 2005-06. That is a huge jump in profit and Starbucks Japan officials are upbeat about the current fiscal year too. In the last fiscal year, the company opened 51 new outlets while this year it has a target of opening 75 stores. Starbucks Japan is selling tea too in addition to coffee. Actually in the website of Starbucks Japan, I could find the following items of tea in its menu:
" Tazo® Chai Tea Latte (Hot/Iced)
Black tea and spiced in steamed milk or milk and ice
S:340yen T:390yen G:440yen V:490yen

Freshly Brewed Tazo® Tea
A selection of black and herbal infusions
T:290yen G:360yen

Iced Tea
Today's iced tea or herbal infusion
S:260yen T:310yen G:360yen V:410"

I am happy that Starbucks bosses have acted very smartly to integrate tea with coffee in its operations in Japan. A few days ago, I wrote about the falling profit of McDonald's Japan in Japan and I suggested that they should introduce more fish and vegetable items in Japan. Today, I like to appreciate the wisdom of Starbucks in integrating tea very well in their menu in Japan.

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Starbucks Japan 05/06 profit up 51%, sees growth
Starbucks Japan targets 2% same-store sales rise

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