As Starbucks continues to accelerate its plans toward making China its second home market, the company has announced a series of new initiatives aimed at further differentiating Starbucks as the employer of choice in this market.
The initiatives include a new learning and development concept, Starbucks China University.
Starbucks China University's aim is to elevate the existing learning and development infrastructure of its employees. The effort will introduce new training modules to meet the needs of its retail and support center partners. This virtual training institute will encompass all areas and functions of the Starbucks China business, including retail operations and functional training, coffee and culture and leadership competency, and will incorporate both global and China training curriculums. Starbucks China University also will potentially collaborate with academic institutions, and related Chinese government agencies, to strengthen its value proposition and offerings.
Apart from investing in training to build the careers of its partners, Starbucks will also set aside an additional RMB1million for the Starbucks China Caring Unites Partners (CUP) Fund, which will be used to provide financial assistance to partners in times of significant or immediate needs.
"As Starbucks enters an exciting, historic phase of our growth in China, our partners will have unprecedented opportunities to build promising careers with the company," said Belinda Wong, president of Starbucks China. "We want them to grow together with us, and will invest in equipping them with the right skills to take on the new career opportunities, within Starbucks, as we continue our business growth momentum in the market."
Other initiatives include the continuation of Starbucks' Yunnan Coffee Project and new-store designs that focuse on the balance of the Starbucks heritage and coffee and local environment and cultural heritages.
Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks, will join more than 1,200 Starbucks partners and their parents and family members at two separate Starbucks Partner Family Forums in Beijing and Shanghai. Themed "Growing Together," the event is the first of its kind for the company and recognizes the special role Chinese families traditionally play, while highlighting the commitment by Starbucks to grow and develop its partners.
"Since our inception, Starbucks has believed in building a different kind of a company, one that grows in a way that is driven by our values. Our partners are at the heart and soul of our signature Starbucks Experience, and have contributed greatly to Starbucks success through every single moment of personal connection they have built with our customers," Schultz said. "As we expand our footprint across China, we are committed to sharing our success and continue to grow together with them and their families."
China is a focal point of Starbucks international expansion efforts, where the company has outlined a blueprint for it to become Starbucks' second largest market outside the U.S. by 2014, and to have more than 1,500 stores across more than 70 cities by 2015. Currently, Starbucks operates more than 570 stores across 48 Chinese cities.
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