Starbucks to open 8,000 stores

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has announced an ambitious expansion plan that includes opening 8,000 new stores in the next five years, including 3,500 new stores in the Americas. The expansion will also include the debut of a new smaller format in urban areas.

The coffee chain already owns about 22,000 stores worldwide, 14,000 of which are in the Americas. Much of the planned expansion will happen in Asia: more Starbucks locations operate in Shanghai than in any other city in the world, reported Chain Store Age.

Half of Starbucks' new store growth will occur in the Asia Pacific region, with Japan and China leading the way. China is the fastest-growing market for Starbucks. The company plans to up the total from 1,600 to 3,400 Chinese locations in the next five years.

The coffee chain will also open its first Express location this year. The smaller format is focused on the needs of urban consumers during peak morning hours. The first Express location will open in New York, with four additional locations slated for opening by year-end.

"This new format will open up new doors in places we haven't been able to go before," Cliff Burrows, group president of the Americas and Teavana, said at the annual shareholders meeting.

During the meeting, the company also announced the launch of two different delivery services. Both the "green apron" delivery service and an on-demand delivery service—to launch in the second half of 2015—plus an expansion of its mobile order and pay program, which launched in Portland a few months ago.

For more:
-See this Starbucks press release
-See this Chain Store Age article

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