After 15 years operating in the Thailand market, Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX ) is set to double its store count in the country over the next five years.
It currently has 168 retail locations in Thailand and this week opened one of its "community stores" there, its fourth such endeavor and the first outside the U.S.
CEO Howard Schultz celebrated the company's 15 years in Thailand this week by inaugurating the "community" store in the Langsuan neighborhood of Bangkok, Thailand. As the company's fourth and only community store outside the U.S., Schultz said it signifies that the country will play a "critical role" in development and expansion across Southeast Asia.
As a "community" store, the Langsuan location will contribute 10% of its beverages sales to farming communities across northern Thailand. The funds will be donated to The Integrated Tribal Development Program (ITDP), which will contribute to sustainable education, health, and irrigation projects.
Starbucks has three, similar community store formats in Los Angeles, New York, and Texas; the profit-sharing model varies across each store. Starbucks says it has been supporting Thai farming communities for more than 10 years, with 5% of the Thai sales of Starbucks Muan Jai blend going back to help local farmers.