Costa Coffee, the Whitbread-owned chain, is opening its first two coffee shops in Beijing the week before the Olympic Games begin. The outlets are the first to be created under a joint venture between Whitbread and the Beijing Hualian Group.
Whitbread hopes the partnership result in 300 Costa coffee shops opening in Beijing and surrounding provinces in north-east China over the next few years.
The first store opened its doors today (August 5) and the second will open for business on Friday and the day the Games start.
Beijing Hualian Group operates 70 hypermarkets and department stores along with ten shopping centres in and around the Chinese capital.
The deal is Costa’s second joint venture in China and extends the brand’s coverage from Shanghai, where it now operates 25 stores in conjunction with the Yueda Group.
Whitbread says the deal is designed to develop Costa, which already operates in 23 countries outside the UK, as a global brand.
“Our strategy has always been to develop several different markets in China, to fully capitalise on the vast opportunity presented by China’s continued economic growth and aspiring young consumers,” says Costa’s managing director John Derkach.