Guangzhou's 1st Starbucks to Close After 21 Years

By Billy Jiang, June 17, 2024

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In a bittersweet turn of events for local coffee enthusiasts, Guangzhou’s very first Starbucks, at WMall (好世界商场), will close its doors at the end of June, after a 21-year run. 

The closure, set for June 30, is due to the expiration of the store's lease agreement, which will not be renewed. 

But fear not, Starbucks fans, as a new location will open nearby on Jianshe Wu Malu (建设五马路) near Yi An Plaza.

Opened in 2003, the Starbucks outlet at WMall was a pioneer, introducing the iconic coffeehouse chain to Guangzhou. 

Since then, Starbucks has expanded significantly across China, boasting a total of 7,891 stores, with over 300 locations in both Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Despite the immense potential of China’s coffee market, the competition has become increasingly fierce. 

China's homegrown brands like Luckin Coffee have surged in popularity, outpacing Starbucks in both store numbers and sales. 

Starbucks' dominance in China is fading, as reflected in its fiscal second-quarter report for 2024, which showed revenue of USD710 million from its China market – a decline of 8% year-on-year, with same-store sales dropping a staggering 11%, falling short of market expectations.

Luckin Coffee has captured the public’s imagination with innovative marketing strategies and unique offerings, such as their highly buzzed-about Moutai-flavored latte. 

READ MORE: Luckin's Moutai-Flavored Latte Breaks the Chinese Internet

While Starbucks has attempted to maintain its market share with price cuts, such as RMB19.9 for Starbucks' iconic Frappuccino, these efforts have not significantly impacted sales amid the abundance of low-cost coffee options now available.

So, where do you go for your coffee fix? We'd love to hear about your favorite spots! 

For more updates on the latest happenings in the Greater Bay Area, follow our WeChat official account, ThatsGBA.


[Cover image by Billy Jiang/That's]

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