Belfast Telegraph

Starbucks brews up five-year expansion plan to open 12,000 more stores

Starbucks has unveiled plans to open an additional 12,000 stores by 2021, marking a major expansion of its global coffee shop network.

The move means there will be 37,000 Starbucks stores across the world in five years' time.

The company, which currently has 900 stores in the UK, did not give a regional breakdown or outline where new shops would be opening in its corporate announcement.

The coffee giant released the news ahead of its investor conference in New York on Wednesday, just days after chief executive Howard Schultz said he would be stepping down from his role in April 2017.

After more than 30 years at the company, he will take up a position as executive chairman, and leave the chief executive role to Starbucks president and chief operating officer Kevin Johnson.

The store expansion is part of a five-year strategic plan meant to boost revenue by 10% and earnings per share by 15-20%.

In November, the Seattle coffee brewer reported that consolidated full-year net revenues grew 11% to 21.3 billion US dollars (£16.9 billion).

Mr Johnson said: "We are today executing against an ambitious, carefully-curated, multi-year strategy to further elevate the entire Starbucks brand and customer experience around the world, and further extending Starbucks' leadership around all things coffee, retail and mobile.

"The power of our brand, the strength and momentum in our business and the world-class management talent we have assembled give me great confidence in our ability to capture the enormous global growth opportunities ahead."

Starbucks shares rose 0.7% to 57.84 US dollars (£45.88) in early US trading.

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