Starbucks Strengthens Commitment in China with Elevated Employee and Customer Experience

Long-term China growth aspirations on-track with 2,000 stores

Reaffirms Employer of Choice commitment with largest-ever Partner
Family Forum in Chengdu and China partner experience investments

Continued innovation in customer experience through Starbucks social

Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman, Jack Ma, joins
Starbucks chairman and ceo, Howard Schultz, to discuss the role and
responsibility of 21
st Century companies

CHENGDU, China–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer, Starbucks Coffee
Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today reaffirmed the strategic role of the China
market in shaping the future of the company with the announcement of
several market-leading initiatives, further elevating the unique Starbucks
for partners (employees) and customers.

Schultz and other company leaders announced the initiatives at Starbucks
China Partner Family Forum in Chengdu where they joined more than 1,300
Central and Western China region partners and their family members to
experience Starbucks mission and values together and celebrated the
2,000 store milestone achievement.

“As Starbucks second largest and fastest-growing market globally, China
represents the most important and exciting opportunity ahead of us,”
said Schultz. “We are deeply humbled by the enthusiasm with which
Chinese people have embraced Starbucks as part of their daily ritual
over the past 17 years. Over time, it’s conceivable that China could
become our largest market and I am grateful to our 30,000 dedicated
China partners and their supportive families for the significant
contributions they are making to Starbucks success. The continued
investments we are making, coupled with the culture of innovation we
have established, are elevating Starbucks partner and customer
experience beyond that of any other retailer in China.”

Joining Schultz on stage at the Partner Family Forum was Jack Ma,
founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, where both leaders
shared their vision to redefine the roles and responsibilities of a
for-profit public company – one that invests in its people, giving back
to the local communities in meaningful ways, and creating unique
developmental opportunities for the youth of today.

In his introduction of Ma at the Starbucks China Partner Family Forum,
Schultz said, “When he and I get together we’re talking about common
values and we’re talking about humanity. Together building the kind of
companies our parents would be proud of. I asked him to come here and
share with you his thoughts about building his company and share with
you what it means to succeed against all odds in China.”

In addressing the Starbucks Partner Family Forum, Ma said, “Alibaba
hopes to work together with Starbucks to create even more opportunities
to develop Chinese youth because they are our future. All of you at
today’s event represent China’s future. The more seeds of love we sow in
our Chinese youth today, the more love they will give to the world

Unparalleled Partner Investments

The Partner Family Forum is a first-of-its-kind employee engagement
event, first introduced by Starbucks China in 2012, as part of a series
of new initiatives aimed to honor the special role families play in
China. Today’s event highlights Starbucks aspiration to build the
world’s most admired and trusted company, while recognizing the
significant contributions partners have made and will continue to play
in the company’s success in China. The Starbucks Central and Western
region is one of the fastest growing regions in China, having tripled
its store footprint over the past three years, now operating more than
300 stores across 23 cities.

In addressing Starbucks China partners and family members at the
standing room only Partner Family Forum in Chengdu, Schultz said, “I am
so incredibly proud of what you (Starbucks China partners) have
accomplished. And I promise you (the parents of Starbucks partners) we
will grow this company the right way. I am a true believer in the future
of China because of the humanity and the heart and the conscience of the
Chinese people. And we will do everything we can to continue to build a
great and enduring company that you and your parents can be proud of.”

Beginning this month, full-time baristas and shift supervisors*
in Starbucks company-owned stores across China will receive a monthly
housing allowance subsidy to help them overcome the initial financial
challenges of starting their careers and often, living and working
independently. This benefit is expected on-average to cover 50-percent
of their monthly housing expenditures, enabling partners who are
starting in their careers the ability to better take care of themselves,
while they pursue their personal and professional dreams.

In addition, Starbucks China will introduce the Career Coffee Break,
a partner benefit tradition from the U.S., to recognize, appreciate and
honor the hard work put in by long serving partners. Starting this
month, Starbucks partners within our company-operated store with 10
consecutive years of service will be eligible to apply for a Career
Coffee Break, of up to 12 months unpaid leave, to refresh themselves and
more importantly, spend quality time with their loved ones and family.
The partner will be guaranteed reinstatement to either the same position
or a position with similar pay and benefits upon their return to work.
The partner’s social and company benefits will also continue during the
Career Coffee Break.

“These and other industry-leading partner investments demonstrate our
continued commitment to support our China partners to achieve their
personal and professional aspirations,” said Belinda Wong, president,
Starbucks China. “Families play a tremendous role in the life and career
choices for our partners in China and it’s important that we include
their families in the conversation of who we are as a company and the
investments we’re making toward supporting our partners’ future.”

Starbucks has always believed that success is best when shared. The
current pay and benefits programs have reflected the company’s
commitment to take care of its partners and their families by offering
comprehensive health insurance to full- and part-time partners, and the
Starbucks Bean Stock program which gives all partners equity in the
company. In addition to the ongoing training and development
opportunities at the Starbucks China University, last year the company
introduced the Starbucks China Talent Exchange Program for retail
partners. In 2015, 16 partners started their international one-year
exchange program in Singapore, while another 32 partners have had the
opportunity to work in various store locations across China.

Starbucks was named China Best Employer by Aon Hewitt twice
consecutively in 2013 and 2015, and China Best Employer Award and Best
HR Management Company
by Zhaopin and 51job, China’s leading human
resource portals, respectively.

Elevating the Customer Experience

Over the past 17 years, Starbucks has been incredibly humbled by how its
Chinese customers have come to embrace its stores as a community
gathering place. Innovating the customer experience is core to the
company and Starbucks once again delivered on this commitment with the
opening of an e-flagship store on Alibaba’s Tmall last month, China’s
largest open business-to-consumer (B2C) platform. As Starbucks first
social gifting platform in China, the Starbucks Tmall e-flagship store
enables customers to foster deeper and more meaningful connections with
their friends and loved ones by giving them a convenient and easy way to
send a Starbucks gift digitally. Customers have embraced this new social
gifting concept with great enthusiasm. The store has more than 300,000
registered fans and has become the number one performing brand on
Tmall’s “Food and Beverage” category within its first month.

“Digital is highly relevant to our customers in China and we are
committed to building a locally-relevant Starbucks 4th-place
that seamlessly integrates our unique store experience
and the digital space, while building moments of human connection for
our customers,” added Wong. “We will learn from the experiences in our
other markets and explore new strategic partnerships with leading
platforms to enable the Starbucks China digital flywheel. More awaits us
as we implement new digital experience innovations to surprise, delight
and exceed the expectations of our Chinese customers.”

Starbucks continues to elevate and innovate its unsurpassed coffee
experience at the forefront of its stores for the Chinese customer. Over
the past two years, Starbucks opened 45 Starbucks Reserve stores and
introduced the pour-over slow bar in 150 stores across China. The
Starbucks Reserve stores are specialized store experiences in China
devoted to highlighting some of the world’s most exotic, rare and
exquisite coffees that are available in limited quantities globally.

As Starbucks accelerates its growth in China to achieve its goal to
operate 3,400 stores by 2019, so too will its foundational aspiration
grow to build a different kind of company – one committed to being
performance-driven through the lens of humanity. Through the Starbucks
China Youth Development Program introduced in June 2014, the company has
convened numerous leading experts to establish a unique curriculum
focused on developing future leaders in China. 1,500 university
students, from both urban and rural areas, and those with disadvantaged
backgrounds, will benefit from the program over three years.

* across all company operated markets with a
minimum of
six-months with Starbucks China required
for eligibility.

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically
sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with
stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer
of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to
excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks
to life for every customer through every cup. To share in
the experience, please visit us in our stores or


Starbucks Coffee Company