By The Nation
Under the agreement expected to close by the end of the month, the joint venture will have the exclusive rights to operate and develop Starbucks retail stores in Thailand to accelerate growth across the market.
“Starbucks has been proudly serving customers across Thailand for more than 20 years,” said John Culver, group president, Starbucks International, Channel Development and Global Coffee and Tea. “This is a significant move for our company and we are pleased to transition the Thailand business to Maxim’s Caterers and F&N Retail Connection with their focus on accelerating new store development to realise the full potential of this important market.”
Starbucks’ first store in Thailand opened in July 1998 at Central Chidlom. There are now 372 stores in the country.
Starbucks Thailand opened the first community store in Asia in 2013, and Bt10 on every cup of handcrafted beverages sold at the Langsuan community store is directed to the Integrated Tribal Development Programme. Today, sales from this community store continue to support sustainable education and health and irrigation projects in local coffee farming communities.
Maxim’s Caterers has a strategic partnership with Starbucks that started in 2000 with the opening of the first Starbucks in Hong Kong.
“We look forward to leveraging our expertise and deep understanding of the Starbucks culture and brand to build on the unparalleled service, craft and passion of our Thai partners [employees], which will propel the business for the future,” says Michael Wu, chairman and managing director of Maxim’s Caterers. “We look forward to continuing to deliver the unique Starbucks experience to Thai customers as we grow.”
Maxim’s Caterers operates more than 400 Starbucks stores in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Vietnam, employing more than 6,000 employees.