After nearly 17 years in Japan, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is on track to open its 1,000th store this summer. Chairman, President, and CEO Howard Schultz reaffirmed his confidence in the nation as an area for growth in a visit to the opening of its new Meguro store in Tokyo.
Located within the same building with the new Starbucks Coffee Japan Support Center, the Meguro store design highlights Starbucks' strategy in Japan and elsewhere. Created with the traditional Japanese service spirit in mind, the design includes a garden and local contemporary art, taking cues from traditional tea houses. "These elements provide another point of connection with the local community and culture," Starbucks said in a release.
In the release, Schultz added: "We will soon exceed 1,000 stores in Japan, an important milestone in our development, and we are confident that there is plenty of opportunity for more innovative growth and development in this dynamic market. Starbucks will continue to grow in a way that reflects our local customer and the communities we serve -- through innovative store designs and formats, locally relevant beverage and food offerings, continued investments to build an even more engaging digital experience, and an unparalleled in-store Starbucks Experience."
Starbucks opened its first Japanese store in Ginza, Tokyo, back in August 1996, and it was modeled similarly to the Pike Place store in Seattle. Since then, the company has expanded across 46 prefectures in Japan.