What Are The Challenges Which Starbucks Is Facing In Hong Kong?

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Starbucks, one of the American companies listed in the Fortune 500 and the largest coffeehouse chain in the world . It was first introduced in Hong Kong in 2000. After nine years, Starbucks is everywhere in Hong Kong. Over hundred stores opened, covering all major area of Hong Kong, such as shopping malls, commercial buildings, hospital and public housing estate. Refer to two articles, they indicated some difficulties happened when this Seattle-based company enter into other countries. But will they also occur in Hong Kong? In this essay, I will explain what challenges Starbucks facing. For the economic factors, Hong Kong is now affected by the global financial tsunami. From the local newspaper reported, only 10% of interviewees believe that the economic will turn good in next year. Most of people tend to reduce expense on entertainment, luxury goods and foods. They change their habits because of the uncertain future. For example, office workers have their lunch at fast food restaurant instead of Chinese restaurant, in order to save money. Compare a cup of coffee from Starbucks with a value meal from McDonald’s, both prices around $30; Starbucks’ coffee will be treated as “luxury good”. For the social factors, the concept of coffeehouse seems well accepted by the Hong Kong people. Starbucks and other coffeehouse chains opened lots of new branches in past few years. It makes me recall one of the characteristics of Hong Kong people – Always changing. From the experience of Taiwanese drinks and cheese cakes, they were popular when first introduced to Hong Kong people, but people get bored with them very soon. In this case, how long will people “in love with” Starbucks? Is Starbucks really changes people’s habits? Or people just looking for a comfortable place for sit and relax, not for the cups of coffee?

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