Starbucks To Open 500 New Stores

Published by: Dave Simmons on 12th Nov 2010 | View all blogs by Dave Simmons
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Starbucks To Open 500 New Stores

As the global economy continues to improve, Seattle-based Starbucks plans to double the rate at which it opens stores to more than one per day, according to the company's CEO Howard Schultz.  The executive announced in an interview Friday that the company plans to open at least 500 new locations in the fiscal year that began in October, with 400 of those opening outside the US.

China, which economists in a recent Bloomberg News poll consider the best market for investment over the next year, will be the coffee shop's biggest growth market in the last two years, said Schultz.  Starbucks locations will top 1,000 in the very near future, another company spokesman said. 

Major coffee shop chains are attempting to expand in China, the world's fastest-growing major economy, as an increasingly affluent consumer base turns to higher-end coffees.  Starbucks aims to raise overall per person coffee consumption in the country, where people drink an average of 22 grams per person per year, compared to an annual consumption of 3.3 kilograms per person per year in Japan.

The 500 stores Starbucks plans to open this year will be the most since it opened 1,669 stores in fiscal 2008.  The company lost 45 stores in fiscal 2009 and gained 223 stores in fiscal 2010, according to its website.

The specialty coffee company currently operates about 800 stores within the greater China region, about half of which are located on the mainland.  The first Starbucks in China opened in 1999 in Beijing.

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