That's one of several interesting nuggets in a New York Times article about why the brand is doing so well in China, while other fast food brands flounder. According to the article, by the NY Times business boy darling Andrew Ross Sorkin, there are 600 Starbucks in Shanghai alone. I think I can see about 50 from my window on Huaihai Lu.
“When people ask me how much can you really grow in China, I don’t really know what the answer is, but I do believe it’s going to be larger than the U.S.,” Howard Schultz, Starbucks’s chairman, told Sorkin.
An interesting little bean I've picked up that's not in the article, but did you know most, if not all, Starbucks in China don't pay fixed rent? They pay 15% of their revenue as rent, which means that if business isn't so hot, they still profit. The power of being such a big brand. It probably goes some way to explaining why there are so many of the stores around.
And finally, did you know Starbucks has really nice lemonade? I didn't until last week, when I ordered an iced lemon tea with no tea, and got a big old cup (what's Italian for big old cup?) of the perfect summer drink.
The article, if you want to read the details of the company's strategy for China, and they are interesting, is here.