Starbucks sets one foot in Vietnamese market

VietNamNet Bridge – Starbucks Coffee, the well-known coffee brand, will surely be present in the Vietnamese market. The first shop of the chain will be in HCM City, not far away from the New World Hotel in the central district No 1.

The path to Vietnam is rosy

The hot topic of the articles on local newspapers last week was the appearance of the fast food brand Burger King in Vietnam, while the topic of this week is the upcoming arrival of the coffee brand Starbucks.

Starbucks warned about its arrival in Vietnam in 2011, when Starbucks’ Managing Director Howard Schultz told BBC that the chain would penetrate the Vietnam market prior to 2013.

In fact, Starbucks have been eyeing Vietnam for a long time. When the Australian Gloria Jeans Coffee opened its first shop in Vietnam in January 2007, branding companies then gave prediction about the appearance of more big brands, including Starbucks.

In 2008, they had proofs to affirm that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf would arrive in Vietnam, and in 2009, information was spread out that Starbucks sent its staff to Vietnam already.

Sources said that the first shop of Starbucks would be not far from the New World Hotel in district 1.

The detailed information about this would be made public only when the procedures on the premises leasing are completed in order to be sure that everything would be okay for the first shop.

The sources also said that Starbucks would have one shop in 2012 only, but it plans to open 3-5 shops more in the central areas of HCM City the next year.

Starbucks only opens its first café in 2012 because it needs time to find local partners and suitable business premises.

Coffee quality standards to be reset

Most of the world’s well-known coffee brands have been present in Vietnam under the mode of franchising. Gloria Jeans Coffee, for example, has been brought to Vietnam by Phong Cach Song Viet Company, while The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf by Viet Ca Phe Trade Company.

A question may be raised that who brings Starbucks to Vietnam. Those, who keep watching the news about the wedding of the Vietnamese showbiz star Tang Thanh Ha, could easily guess who. As for Jonathan Hanh Nguyen, the father in law of Ha, bringing Starbucks to Vietnam is not a difficult job at all, according to a consultancy expert.

The expert also said that he can see big changes in the taste of Vietnamese people. Young Vietnamese now like going to the café with western style like Gloria Jeans Coffee or Starbucks rather than traditional shops.

Besides, Vietnamese consumers nowadays tend to demand more for clean coffee. Especially, women now also like the drinks provided by the modern cafes.

However, despite the higher demand for the western styled café, the shops still have been witnessing modest growth. This can be seen in the modest number of the shops opened so far by the big guys. Gloria Jeans Coffee has got six cafes, while the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has developed the chain of eight shops in HCM City and Hanoi.

It is really very difficult to find satisfactory retail premises in HCM City. The representative of Starbucks Vietnam also said in the immediate time, it would look for separated retail premises, while penetrating shopping malls would be the story of the future.

Vietnam; Starbucks; market; HCM City; cafe