Starbucks Gift Card Makes its Debut in China (Jan. 3, 2014)
Starbucks Corp. is introducing its gift cards in China, the company announced today, as it begins a significant expansion of its stores in the burgeoning gift card market. Starbucks Gift Cards are available at select locations in mainland China in three designs, including “Thank You,” “Kind Regards” and “Happy Lunar New Year.” The Seattle-based coffee giant also is offering a Lunar New Year Gift Card in certain U.S. stores, featuring the horse, this year’s honored animal in the lunar new year.
Starbucks this year plans to add 750 new stores in China, boosting its retail presence in the country by 75 percent from 1,000 existing locations, according to a forecast Starbucks released on Oct. 30, 2013. Based on those plans, this year China will surpass Canada as the second-largest market for retail stores outside the U.S. Starbucks also said it intends to add 600 new U.S. stores this year. Starbucks currently operates about 18,000 retail stores in 18 countries, according to the company’s Website.
Since the Starbucks Card launched in the U.S. in 2001, customers have loaded $16 billion onto more than 450 million cards in 27 countries. Starbucks Cards can be used interchangeably at most Starbucks locations in Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico and the U.K. More than 11 percent of Starbucks’ U.S. and Canada sales come through its related Starbucks Card mobile app, Starbucks execs said in October 2013. Starbucks plans to report its next quarterly results on Jan. 23.