Starbucks' New Frontier: India

As many as 50 locations could open by year's end
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2012 10:21 AM CST
Starbucks' New Frontier: India
In this Nov. 19, 2011 photo, customers line up for hot drinks at Starbucks, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

As promised, Starbucks is officially coming to India, and the first store will open by September. A senior executive at Tata Global Beverages, which is partnering with Starbucks for the venture, says that as many as 50 stores could open by the end of the year, and up to 3,000 stores could eventually pepper the country. It won't be the first foreign coffee chain: Lavazza of Italy and the US-based Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf have a presence in the country. But the dominant player is the Bangalore-based Café Coffee Day, which currently claims 1,200 stores, the New York Times reports.

Thanks, in part, to its huge youth population, the number of cafes and restaurants in India has exploded in recent years. "We are going to move as fast as we possibly can to take advantage of the opportunity that exists in India," says the president of Starbucks in Asia. As for how Starbucks will fit in, the Times notes that coffee chains in the country typically sell beverages at extremely low prices; Café Coffee Day's small cappuccinos cost about $1. No word on whether Starbucks will adjust its prices. (More India stories.)

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