Asia Bizz: A company executive of the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain Starbucks said that it expects China to become its second largest retail market measured by the number of its stores by the year 2014.

John Culver the president of the Starbucks China and Asia Pacific said that the coffeehouse chain plans to move to smaller cities. At present, China is the fifth largest market for Starbucks, after US, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan.

The chain  has shops in about 48 cities and plan to have it in 70 more cities by the year 2015. Starbucks now plans to have at least 1,500 stores in the city by the year 2015.

In China, the coffeehouse chain operates 570 stores and celebrated the opening of its 500th store in Beijing in the month of October. Back in 2010, Starbucks held the largest share of China’s coffee shop market with 66.3 percent of it, while Costa Coffee Chain had just 8.9 percent and McDonalds had an 8 percent share. Culver added that the company has an ambitious plan to accelerate growth and will make sure they grow in a holistic way.