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Starbucks Thailand to make drinking and shopping a “thing”



Thanks to Starbucks, it may now be possible to drink and shop at Bangkok’s Iconsiam mall, as long as the government grants its approval. The US company has introduced its first store in Thailand to offer an alcoholic beverage menu, one that surely will help visitors to the mall relax a bit.

The managing director of Starbucks Coffee Thailand, Nednapa Srisamai, says the Starbucks Reserve Chao Phraya Riverfront at Iconsiam opens today and it is set up to include more seats, 350 to be exact, in a bar-like atmosphere. Thailand is now the 5th country to open a Starbucks that offers alcohol, with the US, Japan, China and Taiwan preceeding it.

Sara Trilling, the president of Starbucks Asia-Pacific says today is a significant milestone in the company’s 22 year history.

“For 22 years, Starbucks has been elevating coffee craftsmanship and bringing unique experiences to our customers in Thailand….. as we introduce an exciting new store that recognises our coffee heritage while celebrating Thailand’s rich and diverse culture.”

Nednapa says the company also felt the financial fallout from the Covid pandemic, but was slowly recovering. Thailand’s coffee market is estimated to be worth 60 billion baht, with over half of that number being attributed to drinking coffee products at one’s home. Thailand’s coffee shop chains are still seeing room for growth with Amazon, Starbucks, Doi Chang, Coffee World, True Coffee and All Cafe leading the way.

Nednapa says Starbucks plans to open 20-30 new stores in Thailand this year, which would bring the total to around 434-444 stores. The company also plans to open 10 more drive-thru stores, bringing up the total number of drive thrus in Thailand to 46. She says the number of cashless stores are also growing with about 50 to be in operation by the end of this year.

So far, there is no word yet on when the government will approve the move to offer alcohol at Starbucks, but if it does, shopping may never be the same.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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