Thursday, April 28, 2011

Update on Starbucks in Yunnan

A quick update to my earlier post on the first Starbucks to open in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China is in order.

Today was the grand opening and I stopped by for a look:

As you can see the place was packed and there was a line extending out the door.  Later in the day all was the same.

I received some questions from people curious about cost.  For today's exchange rate some sample prices in US Dollars:
  • Tall Brewed Coffee:  $2.31
  • Venti Brewed Coffee:  $4.15
  • Tall Mocha Frappuccino:  $4.61
  • Tall Green Tea Latte:  $4.61
Prices such as these for drinks are relatively quite high for China, and especially Kunming.  For example, milk tea can be easily found for about $1.25 at other trendy tea and dessert stores nearby -- even that is a relatively high price for Kunming.

The fact that Starbucks is so busy with such high prices is a particularly good sign for them and says much about the customers' desires to purchase Starbucks' products.

Finally, I saw yet another sign of how Starbucks has localized for the Chinese market, or I should say "signs":

Signs in Kunming Starbucks' bathroom

Throwing bathroom tissue into a wastebasket can be common in parts of China where the pipes/sewage system isn't able to cope with it.  The second sign is likely due to squat toilets being very common in the region.  I assume some people may attempt to use seat toilets as squat toilets.

I suppose Starbucks has had some experience regarding these issues (and tissues) in the past.

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