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Starbucks to double staff size

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As Starbucks continues to expand within the APAC region, the coffee giant has announced plans to double its staff strength in the next five years.

Despite the slowing economy, the company looks set to increase its headcount to 40,000.

Jinlong Wang, the company’s APAC president, said the region “has been a growth engine and will continue to be a growth engine despite economic uncertainty”, Dow Jones Business News reported.

Starbucks opened its first Vietnamese store this month, and also ventured into India last October. Asia Pacific makes up about 10% of the company’s 200,000 global staff, excluding those in China, India and Japan.

Starbucks’s revenue in region is rapidly growing – the company posted revenue of US$214.1 million (S$264.7m), a 28% jump in quarter-on-quarter in APAC and China for Q4 2012.

However, Starbucks will have to manage criticism it’s been drawing the APAC for the high cost of its products. Wang countered the prices are set based on actual cost and the retail space, along with the “expectations of the consumer”, adding most complaints have been about the crowds rather than the price.

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