SEOUL, March 16 (Korea Bizwire) – Starbucks Coffee Korea, the local unit of the U.S. coffee giant, said Thursday that its annual sales topped the 1 trillion won (US$884.17 million) mark for the first time ever last year after its first shop opened here in 1999.
Starbucks Coffee, which is operated by retail conglomerate Shinsegae in South Korea, said its annual sales surpassed the milestone last year, up 29.6 percent from 773.9 billion won tallied in 2015.
Operating profits also increased 81.2 percent on-year to 85.4 billion won in 2016, the company said.
Starbucks opened its first branch near Ewha Womans University in central Seoul in 1999. The company currently operates 1,008 shops across the country as of the end of February.
Industry officials said Starbucks’ record is astonishing as annual sales of other players such as Twosome Place and Angel-in-us Coffee are averaging between 100 and 200 billion won.
“Starbucks gained popularity among women in their 20s and 30s who are attuned to the latest consumer culture of the United States,” said an industry official, adding that Starbucks has constantly launched new menus.
Starbucks acquired tea retailer Teavana in 2012 and has since rolled out various tea menus along with bakery products.