Starbucks Opening 1,500 More US Coffee Cafes as Part of Global Expansion

Thursday, 06 Dec 2012 11:21 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Coffee giant Starbucks will increase the number of its U.S. locations by 13 percent in the next five years — from 11,540 outlets to just over 13,000 — as part of a global expansion announced Wednesday that will give it more than 20,000 stores around the world by 2017.

In addition to 1,500 more U.S. coffee shops, there will be significant location increases across the rest of the Americas and in China, which the Seattle-based coffee maker predicts will become its second largest market, taking the place of Canada.

“Starbucks business and brand have never been healthier, and as a company we have never been better positioned to execute against our global, multi-channel growth agenda,” said Starbucks President and CEO Howard Schultz told the company’s 2012 investor conference. Starbucks currently has annual revenues above $13 billion.

Editor’s Note: Who’s to Blame for the Fiscal Cliff? Vote Here!

“I am personally committed to seeing Starbucks deliver the innovation, execution and elevated customer experience necessary to achieve both these goals and remain one of the worlds most trusted and admired consumer brands,” Schultz said on the company's site.

As part of its expansion, Starbucks will be offering more options in addition to its various coffees, such as juices and in particular tea, as reflected by its November acquisition of Teavana Holdings, an Atlanta -based specialty tea and tea accessory retailer.

The company, known for its pricey premium coffee, recently received increased attention for its limited introduction of a $7 cup of coffee, which Starbucks claimed comes from a somewhat rare Costa Rican Gesha tree cherry. Starbucks is also offering a luxe gold membership gift card this holiday season.

This isn’t the first time in recent years that Starbucks has been bullish on expansion.

In 2006, Starbucks opened up 1,300 new stores in one year following years of aggressive growth.

Editor’s Note: Who’s to Blame for the Fiscal Cliff? Vote Here!

However, two years later Starbucks announced that it would be closing 600 stores and laying off 12,000 employees in the process. The decision to downize came as a result of an apparent over-saturation of the market which caused a loss in profits for the company.

In a CNBC interview, Schultz described the decision to fire so many Starbucks employees, who he describes as family, as “without question, the worst day of my professional life.”

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