Starbucks enters entrenched Vietnam coffee market

Topics: From the Wires,

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Nghiem Ngoc Thuy has been slinging coffees to thirsty Vietnamese for 20 years in her colonial-style villa with peeling shutters, and she and her customers aren’t too worried that the imminent arrival of U.S. giant Starbucks will alter their time-tested coffee traditions.

The Seattle-based company announced Thursday that it will open its first cafe in Vietnam early next month in Ho Chi Minh City as part of its strategy to expand across Asia, and plans to add more shops throughout the country.

But compared with other Asian markets Starbucks has recently entered, the company faces a unique scenario in Vietnam, where French-inspired coffee culture reigns supreme, two homegrown chains have established presences and family-run sidewalk cafes are as ubiquitous as noodle shops.

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