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Starbucks wakes up to China

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 - 01:53

Mar 8 - With its sights set on further growth in the world's second-largest market, U.S. coffee chain Starbucks picks China as one of four sites to unveil its new, nameless logo. Matt Cowan reports.

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A sign of the changing times. American coffee giant Starbucks is looking to boost its fortunes in China by choosing Beijing as one of the four sites where its unveiling its new, nameless logo. John Culver is the president of the company's international division. SOUNDBITE: John Culver , President of Starbucks Coffee International saying: "China presents a great opportunity for us to grow, and what we've said is that over the next several years we will have fifteen hundred stores here on the mainland. And as part of that, we're making the investments today both from a people standpoint and as well as from an infrastructure standpoint as we look to grow." The firm currently has around has 400 stores on the mainland and 800 in the Greater-China region. Late last year, Starbucks announced it was opening its first ever coffee bean farm and processing facility in China. China-specific products are also being designed to suit the tastes of consumers in the world's second largest economy. Some customers see the new logo as a step in the right direction. SOUNDBITE: Zhang Xin, Private Business Owner, saying (English): "Without the words that used to be on it, it gives a more international feeling. There's no need to emphasize on the words, it just needs to keep up its culture and quality of coffee. As long as the logo is recognisable from afar - just like the McDonalds' big M logo, and I think that's good enough." After slashing costs and closing stores in 2008 and 2009, the world's top coffee chain was able to return to growth. Now, on the occasion of its 40th anniversary, the Starbucks rebrand marks a new direction for the company. The thinking is that a logo that makes no mention of coffee will open up new possibilites. It certainly is a world away from the Seattle fish market where Starbucks first started brewing beans all those years ago. Matt Cowan, Reuters

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Starbucks wakes up to China

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 - 01:53