Starbucks inks joint venture for Korea unit – Starbucks Coffee Co. in licensing agreement with ESCO

Starbucks inks joint venture for Korea unit – Starbucks Coffee Co. in licensing agreement with ESCO – Brief Article

SEATTLE — Continuing its Asian expansion, Starbucks Coffee Co., the cafe operator and coffee retailer, will open its first unit in Korea next year through a licensing agreement with ESCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Shinsegae Department Store Co.

Starbucks spokeswomen Cheri Libby said the unit, to open next spring or summer, would be in Seoul, South Korea.

The Korean unit will expand Starbucks’ presence in Asia to five countries. Starbucks last year opened its first Asian units in Japan and Singapore, and the coffee purveyor will later this year and in early 1998 open its first units in the Philippines and Taiwan, respectively.

Starbucks’ Korean partner, Shinsegae, is one of Korea’s largest operators of department stores, specialty shops, hotels and restaurants. Shinsegae has alliances with several other U.S.-based merchants to open stores in Korea, such as membership club chain Costco and Calvin Klein.

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