U.S. coffee giant Starbucks Corp on Wednesday announced plans to more than triple its revenue and almost double the number of its stores in China over the next five years.
The company aims to build 600 new stores annually in China through the end of 2022, a goal that would double the number of its shops in the Chinese mainland market from 6,000 at the end of 2017 across 230 cities.
Starbucks operates approximately 3,300 stores in 141 cities in the Chinese mainland, with about 45,000 employees.
China is the now the company's fastest-growing market, with a new Starbucks store opening every 15 hours, according to a statement the company released on its official website.
The plans were presented at Starbuck's China Investor Conference held in Shanghai on Wednesday, first of its kind in China.
Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson said at the conference that "no Western company or brand is better positioned to evolve with the rapidly expanding Chinese middle class, and we continue to mindfully evolve a coffee culture in China where the reward will be healthy, long-term, profitable growth for decades to come."
Starbucks also announced plans to double its operating income in China by the end of 2022, relative to 2017 levels.
Last year, it made revenue of $3.24 billion in China and the Asia-Pacific region while operating income was $764.8 million, Reuters reported.
Starbucks said it will look to leverage the recently announced global coffee alliance with Nestle to further extend its reach and scale throughout the Chinese mainland.