Starbucks shuts Jakarta shops

IOL pic oct13 starbucks sign REUTERS A Starbucks store is seen in New York. File picture: Eric Thayer

Mumbai - Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee-shop chain, closed about 50 outlets in Jakarta after one of its stores suffered collateral damage from an explosion Thursday.

There were no customer or staff fatalities, CEO Howard Schultz said in Mumbai. Starbucks has more than 200 stores across 15 cities in the country, and opened its first outlet in Jakarta in 2002, according to the coffee chain’s local website.

"We are living in a time of great uncertainty and fragile nature," Schultz said. "This is a senseless act of violence and terrorism that many of us cannot process."

Explosions ripped through central Jakarta, killing several people in the worst attack in the Indonesian capital since at least 2009. At least three blasts occurred near the Sarinah shopping centre, close to the United Nations office, one of which appeared to target a police post, televised images showed.

Schultz, who’s in Mumbai for a media event, said Starbucks plans to grow its store network in India and would introduce mobile payment and e-commerce to its outlets in the country. The company, which has a joint venture with Tata Global Beverages, has about 75 outlets as of July last year.

-With assistance from Rachel Chang.

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