Starbucks Debuts Iconic Flagship Store in Ho Chi Minh City, Honoring Vietnam`s Distinctive Local Culture

Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:30pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Market entry builds on Company`s commitment to continue to accelerate growth in
Asia, now exceeding 3,400 stores across the region

First Vietnam store designed to embrace distinctive Vietnam traditions and
strong heritage of coffee passion

Premiers the new Starbucks Asian Dolce Latte, the favorite classic latte, but
with an Asian twist that is inspired by local Vietnamese coffee culture

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam--(Business Wire)--
Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) today opened the doors to the first
Starbucks store in Vietnam, following an expanded long-term relationship with
Hong Kong Maxim`s Group. This flagship store, which has been designed to reflect
Starbucks 42-year coffee heritage, while embracing Vietnam`s distinctive local
traditions and coffee culture, is nestled in the aspirational lifestyle
neighborhood of Ho Chi Minh City`s District 1, at the junction of the bustling
Nga Sau Phu Dong. The opening of the two-story store was officiated by Mr. Huynh
Khanh Hiep, Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and
Trade, and it marks the beginning of the global iconic brand`s Vietnam journey.
Vietnam is Starbucks 12th market across the China and Asia Pacific region.
Two-story, 4,000 square ft. store with locally inspired design elements and an
outdoor patio. (Photo: Business Wire)

"Vietnam is one of the most dynamic and exciting coffee markets in Asia and we
are proud to be entering the market with Hong Kong Maxim`s Group, a close and
long-term partner that shares many of the same values that Starbucks was founded
on," said John Culver, president, Starbucks China and Asia Pacific. "The market
presents tremendous opportunity for Starbucks over the long term. Ho Chi Minh
City is our first stop and we aim to open our stores in key metropolitan cities
across Vietnam, including Hanoi, in the future." 

"We are honored to open our doors to our Vietnamese customers today," added
Jinlong Wang, president, Starbucks Asia Pacific. "The Starbucks Vietnam growth
story goes beyond just future store footprint expansion. We have deep respect
for Vietnam`s long coffee traditions and we want to ensure that our Starbucks
Experience is the right balance between the global offering that our customers
have come to expect of us, as well as a locally-relevant familiarity that
resonates with customers and the communities we serve." 

Today, Starbucks premiered its latest espresso beverage innovation, the
Starbucks Asian Dolce Latte, as part of its Vietnam first store opening
celebrations. Motivated by how coffee is favored in many parts of Asia --
strong, yet smooth and flavored, the new Starbucks Asian Dolce Latte that has
been inspired by Vietnam`s coffee culture and habits, was developed specially
for the Asian market; a firm demonstration of Starbucks commitment to providing
locally relevant offerings in the region. Created with a double-shot of premium,
dark-roasted Starbucks French Roast and a specially developed dolce sauce,
innovation in the Starbucks Asian Dolce Latte comes from the uniquely flavored
dolce sauce, which is crafted using different types of milk to give the beverage
a distinct smooth and rich velvety texture that is local to the Asian palette. 

Starbucks extensive product portfolio in its first store in Vietnam also
includes its handcrafted Starbucks Frappuccino® beverages, Starbucks Tea and a
broad food offering boasting a wide selection of western favorites, as well as
locally-relevant flavor reflected in items such as the Parisian Baguette and the
Roast Duck Wrap. 

As previously announced, Starbucks has granted Hong Kong Maxim`s Group
subsidiary, Coffee Concepts (Vietnam), the licensing agreement to operate
Starbucks stores and to maximize the growth potential of the Starbucks brand in

"This is an exciting new chapter for the partnership between Maxim`s and
Starbucks in Asia," said Michael Wu, Chairman and Managing Director, Hong Kong
Maxim`s Group. "I am confident that our Starbucks stores in Vietnam will become
a community gathering place in Vietnam. We look forward to offering the highest
quality arabica coffee, handcrafted Starbucks beverages and locally-relevant
food in an unparalleled store environment." 

The design of the Starbucks flagship store in Vietnam reflects the vibrance of
cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City and still retains the city`s pride for its
distinct local heritage. The magnificent space will provide customers new
opportunities for discovery, a high level of engagement with Starbucks partners
(employees), and a deep connection to Starbucks coffee heritage. The store
features numerous décor items that have been sourced locally, repurposed and
given a new life in the first Starbucks store, including the distinctive
Starbucks community table, whose teakwood surface was recycled from a local
villa, and an old `ba gac` (bicycle), which was traditionally used to transport
goods around the city in the past, now stands as a central piece of artwork on
the ground floor of the store. The store also showcases wall mural designs
created by local artists. 

Starbucks firmly believes that its success is only possible when there are
thriving communities where it does business. In Vietnam, Starbucks is committed
to leveraging its scale for good to advocate and effect positive change in the
neighborhoods where its partners and customers live and work. Toward this, as
part of the store opening celebrations, more than 40 Starbucks partners
gathered, at the "Vua Hoc Vua Lam 15/5" school, in District 1, on 30 January
2013, where they spent the day repainting the school walls and interacting with
the students, bringing them immense joy and laughter ahead of Vietnam`s Tet
celebrations (Vietnam New Year). The 15/5 school has, for more than 20 years,
provided tuition and shelter for underprivileged children in the district. 

Along with exploring more social community projects in the future, Starbucks
will continue to promote responsible business practices and production standards
within its existing and prospective supply chains with the local coffee farming
communities. Ultimately, Starbucks aims to leverage its global coffee leadership
and share its coffee knowledge and expertise to help elevate facets of the
Vietnam coffee industry, help local farmers promote responsible coffee-growing
practices and develop localized high-quality arabica coffee. The company is also
committed to sourcing more high quality arabica beans from Vietnam moving

Starbucks currently operates more than 3,400 stores across the China and Asia
Pacific region and employs more than 50,000 partners (employees) in the region. 

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing
and roasting the highest-quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores
around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty
coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our
guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every
customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our
stores or online at 

About Hong Kong Maxim`s Group

Founded in 1956, Hong Kong Maxim`s Group now operates over 760 outlets in Hong
Kong and China. The Group offers a diversified service comprising Chinese, Asian
and European restaurants, fast food outlets, cake shops, coffee shops, Japanese
chain restaurants and institutional catering, while providing a range of festive
products, spanning from mooncakes, Chinese New Year puddings, rice dumplings to
Chinese preserved meat. Hong Kong Maxim's Group also operates air catering
services at 11 airports in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, through joint

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

Edelman for Starbucks media contact:
Tran Thi Thanh Tam, +84 9 8316 0986
Derek Ng, +65 9823 8396
Starbucks media contact:
Josephine Di Loreto, +852 2283 1114
Christina McPherson, +1 206-318-7100
Coffee Concepts media contact:
Teresa Shum, +852 9620 9092

Copyright Business Wire 2013