Flush with cash from Nestle, Starbucks unveils an ambitious China plan

Starbucks unveiled a bold plan to more than triple revenue in China over the next five years, at a time when other American corporates worry that simmering trade tensions may disrupt their businesses in the world’s second-largest economy.

Starbucks plans to weather trade tensions by focusing on its Chinese employees and customer base, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in an interview in Shanghai on Tuesday. The coffee giant laid out plans to compete with KFC in the race to become China’s fastest-growing foreign food chain by opening a new store every 15 hours through 2022. It plans to have 6,000 stores on the mainland then, compared with a previous target of 5,000 by 2021.

“China has a long runway of opportunity for Starbucks,” Johnson said as the chain kicked off a two-day investor conference in Shanghai, the first to be held outside of the U.S. “We can’t control what happens in the geopolitical situation. We are not immune to it, but we take a long-term view.”

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