Coffee-bar icon Starbucks said that 90% of its stores in China are now open and that the board authorized management to add as many as 40 million shares to its buyback plans.
Starbucks in January closed more than half its China stores in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement ahead of the company’s virtual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, Chief Executive Kevin Johnson said the Seattle company was “deepening [its] long-held commitment to elevate specialty coffee in China.”
Starbucks is doing that by opening a “state-of-the-art coffee innovation park in China in 2022,” Johnson said.
“The facility will incorporate a roasting plant, warehouse and distribution center, creating highly skilled jobs and new career opportunities that will help drive smart and sustainable coffee manufacturing.”
This represents Starbucks’ largest coffee manufacturing investment outside the U.S. and the first in Asia. The company is aiming to have 6,000 stores in China by 2022, up 40% from 4,290 now.