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Going Global Case Study

Case Title:

Starbucks in China: Expansion Strategies

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Himani Bansal, Sumit Kumar Chaudhuri

Industry: Retailing


Case Code: GGL0028

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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In the 1990s, Starbucks Corporation, the world's No.1 specialty coffee retailer from the US, started expanding into international markets. After its success in Japan in the mid-1990s, it started focusing on China in the late 1990s. In 2005, after its initial expansion in the major cities of China, Starbucks embarked on an expansion spree into China's second-tier markets. However, analysts opine that in this initiative, Starbucks might face challenges like cultural differences, high real estate prices, unavailability of land and suitable employees.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the market entry strategies of Starbucks in the Asian market and how it became successful in Japan
  • To discuss how Starbucks rapidly expanded in the major cities of China and which factors might restrict its plans to capture China's second-tier markets.


  • The Chinese Operations of Starbucks
  • Expansion Strategies in China

Keywords : Coffee retailing in the US; Coffee business in Europe; Growth strategies of Starbucks; Growth Strategies Case Study; China's coffee market; Joint ventures among coffee retailers; Competitive strategies; McDonald's; KFC; Brand building by coffee retailing chains; Shanghai President Coffee Co; Starbucks in Ireland; Maxim's caterers

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