As part of its ambitious plans to expand in the Asia-Pacific region by adding as many as 750 new stores this year alone, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) announced today it has opened its first store in the country of Brunei, located on the northwestern part of Borneo. The new store is scheduled to open Sunday in Brunei's popular Mabohai Mall shopping district.
The store in Brunei marks the 64th global market for Starbucks and its 100th store in the Singapore region. Starbucks executive John Culver commented on the significance of the new store, saying in a press release that "the Starbucks China and Asia Pacific region continues to be at the forefront of the company's global expansion initiatives, and we continue to be humbled by the warm reception we receive from our customers."
Starbucks said it has worked in collaboration with the Singapore Autism Resource Center in the development of its store in Brunei to "give people with autism the opportunity for meaningful employment and new lifelong skills." With its opening on Feb. 16, Starbucks will have six associates with autism employed at the store, with plans to expand that number over time.
Starbucks operates about 18,000 stores around the world, with an estimated 5,000 outside of North America.