Starbucks on Monday opened its 100th location in Beijing, saying the coffeehouse chain is on track in its commitment to build China into its second largest market outside the U.S. by 2014.
The newest store in Beijing’s Solana International Business District is also the first in China to be staffed by certified Coffee Masters, a designation given to baristas that have completed a rigorous certification process that earns them the right to wear a black apron, the company said.
To build on such talent, the Seattle-based company said it has launched a Starbucks China University, where workers can study personal and career development, as well as leadership skills and coffee craftsmanship and culture through more than 200 training modules.
Belinda Wong, president of Starbucks China, said in a statement, “Our partners are at the heart and soul of our signature Starbucks Experience, and also the cornerstone of Starbucks’ success. It is therefore critical that Starbucks continues to invest in their development, share with them the company’s success and set them up for future growth and development. These investments are critical as we work to achieve our ambitious goals and future aspirations in China.”
Starbucks opened its first location in Beijing in 1999, and has pledged to reach 1,500 stores in more than 70 cities across China by 2015. Currently, the chain has about 700 stores in 50 Chinese cities.
With 18,066 locations in 61 countries at the end of its fourth quarter, Starbucks is planning to open 600 in China in 2013, as well as 600 in the U.S.
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