Starbucks Korea to expand charity-focused stores from 2020

By Kim Da-sol
  • Published : Oct 10, 2019 - 15:24
  • Updated : Oct 10, 2019 - 15:24

Starbucks Korea said Thursday that it will strengthen its focus of business operation in Korea by opening more “community stores” that donate a portion of sales to the community via charity programs, working with nonprofit organizations. 

According to Starbucks Korea CEO David Song, the country’s second community store will open in the first half of 2020. The move comes as part of the franchise’s effort to expand Starbucks’ “humanism-based positive impact” to local communities, Song said. 

In 2014, Starbucks Korea opened its first community store in Daehangno in Seoul’s downtown Jongno. The company said 300 won (25 cents) has been donated for every single purchase, and the amount had accumulated to 1 billion won as of October. The money will be used to support the younger generation by providing them with four-year scholarships, internship programs, workshops and volunteer opportunities, it added. 

Similar Starbucks social contribution programs are currently operating in three countries -- the US, Thailand and South Korea -- among the 80 countries Starbucks has entered. 

Starbucks Korea CEO David Song (second from left) and John Culver, Starbucks’ group president of channel development and global coffee and tea (third from left) pose with Starbucks partners during the Starbucks Korea Leadership Conference in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday. (Starbucks Korea)

“Over the last 50 years, Starbucks has believed that we can return to the local communities with positive change through our business and we have done our best to achieve such goal,” said John Culver, Starbucks’ group president of channel development and global coffee and tea. Culver was in Korea on Thursday to participate in the Starbucks Korea Leadership Conference that involves a meeting of some 1,300 Starbucks store managers. 

By Kim Da-sol (