Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) plans to open 3,000 locations in the Americas region by 2017 as the world’s largest coffee-shop operator accelerates development in the U.S., where store count has stagnated.
At least half of the new stores will be in the U.S., the Seattle-based company said today in a statement. Starbucks currently has more than 18,000 stores worldwide, including about 11,100 in the U.S., which is little changed since 2009.
Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz has sought to boost sales by opening more locations, in which to sell a variety of new products including juice, energy drinks and La Boulange- brand pastries. Schultz is also seeking revenue growth by expanding in international markets, such as China and India, which have growing middle classes.
Starbucks will also continue to introduce new coffee items as it expands, Schultz said today in an interview.
“The pipeline for coffee-related innovation over the next 12 to 18 months is more robust than any time probably in the last five years,” he said.
The shares fell 0.6 percent to $50.79 at the close in New York. Starbucks has gained 10 percent this year.
Starbucks said China is projected to become its largest market outside of the U.S. in 2014. The company is on track to have 1,500 stores in 70 cities there in 2015, up from about 700 there now. The China and Asia-Pacific region will have about 4,000 stores by the end of 2013.
The company today reiterated its intent to this year acquire Atlanta-based Teavana Holdings Inc. (TEA), which it agreed to buy for about $620 million last month. Starbucks has said that Teavana and Tazo Tea, which it bought in 1999, are complementary brands.
Starbucks “has enough to handle” with its current acquisitions and won’t seek to purchase anything else soon, Schultz told investors today at a conference in New York. Starbucks also bought Bay Bread LLC this year for $100 million.
Schultz, 59, also said that while he has talked to the board of directors about succession planning, he has no “short- term intent” to leave the company.
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