Message to Starbucks China Partners: Sending love and good wishes for a prosperous Chinese New Year

Dear China partners-

I have been thinking of you and your families over the holidays and, as we enter the new calendar year, I am reflecting on the enormous challenges you have encountered in the last few years. I cannot be more grateful for your selflessness and the incredible resilience you have shown in taking care of each other, serving our customers and supporting our communities, despite the continued disruptions to your home and work lives. It is during moments of adversity that we reveal our true character. Thank you for staying true to our values and exemplifying the very best of Starbucks.

I have been in weekly discussions with our China Leadership team and in daily touch with Belinda Wong to follow developments in China. I am very sorry to hear that there has been a spike in infections in the country since early December that has and continues to severely impact your lives and our business. I want to remind you, once again, that the health and well-being of your families, your partners and you is our number one priority. We will continue to protect and support our partners as China enters its post-Covid phase and begins the gradual process of fully reopening.

The gradual return to normalcy and pre-Covid routines in people’s lives will undoubtedly contribute to our business recovery in China over time. Our customers are craving for a return to familiar routines and lifestyles, and huge pent-up consumer demand will be unleashed when people feel they are truly safe to venture outside. That will happen. And when it happens our customers will head to our stores in tremendous numbers to enjoy moments of reconnection, their favorite Starbucks beverages and the premium Starbucks Experience you deliver.

Nonetheless, and as Belinda has repeatedly shared, challenges and uncertainties remain and the recovery path ahead will be nonlinear.  While the spread of Covid has impacted all retail businesses in China in these last two months, we believe the disruptions are temporary, and normalcy will gradually return for our stores and customers.  

I know this because Starbucks commitment to China, and to our partners and business in China has never wavered, and is unwavering today. I remain confident that, even more than two decades after entering the market, we are still only in the early chapters of our growth story in China. I believe that one day, China will be Starbucks largest market. I am certain of that because of you, our China partners. Your demonstrated ability to meet every challenge, navigate every obstacle and volatility – and build even more operating muscle with every unexpected test – gives me the greatest confidence imaginable in the future of our business in China. Starbucks will continue to invest in you, and in China, for decades to come. And I promise you our best days are ahead. 

Please know that I cannot wait to see you in person in China very soon. I’ll be looking for the very first opportunity to do so. In the meantime, with Chinese New Year approaching, please accept my very best wishes as you reunite with your families and celebrate a healthy and prosperous Year of the Rabbit.