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Starbucks Korea to open largest branch in Seoul

Starbucks Korea will open its largest branch in central Seoul.

According to the U.S. coffee giant’s affiliate here, Thursday, it will open its new two-story branch in Jongno Tower on Dec. 20. The venue area is expected to be 1,097 square meters.

It will be four times larger than other Starbucks coffee shops in Korea. The company official said it will also build a large triangle-shaped bar in the center of the branch.

Around 100 Starbucks coffees and merchandise are expected to be available there, 30 percent more items than at other Starbucks stores.

Launching its first branch near Ewha Womans University in western Seoul in 1999, Starbucks Korea opened 477 branches in Korea in 2012. It now has 1,100 branches to become the nation’s largest coffee chain. The second-largest, A Twosome Place, has 910 branches.

Starbucks Korea has enjoyed surging sales for the last five years.

It marked 391 billion won ( $359 million) in sales in 2012, but reached 910 billion won during the January-to-September period this year. Industry observers said Starbucks Korea’s sales are expected to reach 1.2 trillion won this year.

Starbucks Korea’s success is a stark contrast to other coffee chain brands.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, more than one out of three coffee shops in the city goes out of business within three years after opening.

Starbucks Korea said, however, it isn’t the case for the company.

“We receive more than 50 inquiries every day from people considering starting a Starbucks branch,” a Starbucks Korea official said.

Starbucks Korea has also expanded its menu into dessert foods. Its sales in dessert foods marked only 58 billion won in 2013, but jumped to 135 billion won last year.

The company said it donated 51.02 million won to earthquake victims in Pohang. It decided to collect profits of its 10 branches in the Pohang area to help those who lost their homes because of the earthquake that hit the region last month.

It also delivered its coffee and dessert foods twice a week to local shelters.

 

 

 

 

(c) 2017 Korea Times Co. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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