Continuing its quest for global coffee domination, Starbucks is on track to open its 1,000th store in Japan this summer after its first store opened 17 years ago.
According to a release from Starbucks, Howard Schultz helped celebrate the opening of the Meguro location and the Starbucks Support Center in Japan last week. Japan was the first international market Starbucks first opened in back in 1996. "Starbucks will continue to grow in a way that reflects our local customer and the communities we serve — through innovative store designs and formats, locally-relevant beverage and food offerings, continued investments to build an even more engaging digital experience, and an unparalleled in-store 'Starbucks Experience,'" Schultz said in a statement.
The Meguro store was inspired by the traditional Japanese "Ichi-go ichi-e" service spirit (literal translation: one time, one meeting). Japan Daily Press notes that when Starbucks first opened in Japan, the coffee house concept was foreign to Japanese tea drinkers; it's clear that the tides are changing for coffee lovers.