Starbucks Coffee Company announced it has entered into an agreement with Coffee Concepts Thailand, a joint-venture between Maxim’s Caterers Limited and Thai partner, F&N Retail Connection Co., Ltd., to fully license Starbucks retail business in Thailand. Under the agreement that is expected to close by the end of the month, the joint-venture will have the exclusive rights to operate and develop Starbucks retail stores in Thailand to accelerate growth across the market.

“Starbucks has been proudly serving customers across Thailand for more than 20 years.  This is a significant move for our company and we are pleased to transition the Thailand business to Maxim’s Caterers Limited and F&N Retail Connection Co., Ltd. with their focus on accelerating new store development to realize the full potential of this important market,” says John Culver, group president, Starbucks International, Channel Development and Global Coffee and Tea.

Starbucks first store in Thailand opened in July 1998 at Central Chidlom, located in Bangkok’s most premium shopping destination. Since then, Starbucks has built the brand by delivering an unparalleled in-store experience across its 372 stores across the market. With a deep commitment to give back to the communities it serves, Starbucks Thailand opened the first community store in Asia in 2013, where 10 Thai baht on every cup of hand-crafted beverages sold at the Langsuan community store is directed to The Integrated Tribal Development Program (ITDP). Today, sales from this community store continue to support sustainable education and health and irrigation projects in local coffee farming communities.

As a long-time and highly-recognized retail operator across Asia, Maxim’s Caterers Limited has a deep history and strategic partnership with Starbucks that started in 2000 with the opening of the first Starbucks store in the Hong Kong market.

“We look forward to leveraging our expertise and deep understanding of the Starbucks culture and brand to build on the unparalleled service, craft and passion of our Thai partners (employees) which will propel the business for the future,” adds Michael Wu, chairman and managing director of Maxim’s Caterers Limited. “We look forward to continuing to deliver the unique Starbucks Experience to Thai customers as we grow.”

Today, Maxim’s Caterers Limited operates more than 400 Starbucks stores in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Vietnam, employing more than 6,000 employees across the five key markets. Under the newly formed joint venture, Maxim’s Caterers Limited will oversee the retail operations and new store development in Thailand.

Finance, News, Starbucks