South Korea ranked fourth in the world in terms of the number of Starbucks stores in the country, following the United States, China and Japan, with an increase of over 100 new stores in 2023.
According to the Starbucks global website on Sunday, the number of stores in Korea at the end of last year stood at 1,893, marking an increase of 116 from the previous year.
There are 38,587 Starbucks stores worldwide, with the US hosting the largest number at 16,466, followed by China with 6,975 stores. Together, these two countries account for 61 percent of the total number of Starbucks stores globally.
Japan and Korea have 1,901 and 1,893 stores, respectively, a difference of only eight. They are followed by Canada with 1,465 stores and the United Kingdom with 1,297. Only these six countries have more than 1,000 stores each.
Italy and Australia, both countries with a strong pride in their coffee culture, have only double-digit numbers of Starbucks stores, with 36 and 71 stores, respectively.
The gap in the number of Starbucks stores between Japan and Korea has steadily decreased, from over 400 in 2013 to 153 in 2019, 121 in 2020, 67 in 2021, 17 in 2022 and now just eight. If this trend continues, Korea is likely to surpass Japan in the number of stores within the next year or two.
The first Starbucks store in Korea opened in 1999 in front of Ewha Womans University in Seoul.
Despite the significant expansion of Starbucks in Korea, its number of stores is still far lower than those of local coffee brands Ediya and Mega Coffee, which offer relatively lower prices. As of the end of last month, Ediya boasts over 3,000 stores in the country, while Mega Coffee has 2,785.