Starbucks announces Community Store expansion in South Korea in 2020

First of several new stores opens in early 2020, building on Starbucks commitment to social impact in local communities

Announcement came at the Managers’ Leadership Conference in Goyang, the largest-ever gathering of Starbucks partners in South Korea

South Korea is one of three Starbucks markets with Community Stores — the first opened in Daehakro, Seoul in 2014

Seoul, KOREA — Today, Starbucks Korea announced the expansion of its profit-sharing Community Store program, with a second Community Store location to open in the first half of 2020 with more to follow.

The upcoming Community Stores will focus on the three pillars of Starbucks Korea’s social impact initiatives: investing in young people seeking opportunities, promoting environmental sustainability and celebrating Korean cultural heritage. Through the Community Store profit-sharing model, Starbucks works together with local non-profits and community organizations in South Korea to fund innovative programs that empower the local community.

“For nearly 50 years, Starbucks has believed that one of the most important contributions we can make is to serve as a catalyst for positive impact in the communities where we do business,” said John Culver, group president, International, Channel Development and Global Coffee & Tea. “As a company, each year we try to live up to this responsibility in new and meaningful ways. I’m proud to announce that this year, we’re introducing a plan that will increase our commitment to building more Community Stores across South Korea.”

Culver announced the Community Store expansion plan to a packed hall of more than 1,600 Starbucks Korea partners (employees) who had come together for a full day of learning and engagement at the Store Managers’ Leadership Conference in Goyang, the largest gathering of partners in South Korea. With the announcement, Culver presented a unique Community Store green apron to David Song, president and CEO of Starbucks Korea.

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of Starbucks in Korea. Throughout our history, we have challenged ourselves to build a different kind of company in Korea by staying true to our mission and values, embracing new ideas and innovation that are meaningful to our customers and inspiring to our partners,” said Song. “We opened the first Community Store in Korea five years ago to help create pathways to opportunity for young people. We are pleased with the positive impact we’ve made in the neighborhood, and are excited to elevate our commitment with the opening of more Community Stores starting next year.”

The first Community Store in Korea opened in 2014 in the Daehakro neighborhood of Seoul. KRW300 (30 cents U.S.) from every purchase at this store is donated to Green Umbrella ChildFund Korea (ChildFund Korea) to directly support lifelong skills development for youth through the Starbucks Comprehensive Youth Leadership Program. Over the past five years, customer purchases at the Daehakro Community Store have generated over 830,000 USD, which Starbucks Korea has invested in supporting aspirational young people in Korea.

The Starbucks Comprehensive Youth Leadership Program is an innovative, holistic program that builds on the collaboration with ChildFund Korea to offer academic scholarships and leadership development opportunities to young people. It also features a unique curriculum focused on business acumen, collaborative communications and social consciousness as part of its aim to prepare young people from disadvantaged backgrounds for higher education and future careers.

Lee Jehoon, Chairman of ChildFund Korea said, “The Starbucks Community Store is an ideal example of a for-profit company using its scale to give back to society in a meaningful way. Together we have nurtured 50 students through our program over the past five years, and I am very excited that Starbucks will continue building this momentum of positive change through more Community Stores across South Korea.”

Around the world, Starbucks stores are at the heart of Starbucks mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. Community Stores serve as important Third Places that can create pathways of opportunities, invite conversation and connection, and drive locally relevant and meaningful community impact in partnership with local stakeholders.