Starbucks to add 12,000 cafes globally


US coffee giant Starbucks outlined plans Wednesday to add 12,000 cafés globally by 2021, including a group of new premium stores that will showcase rare coffees and gourmet food.

The store expansion includes previously-announced plans to add more than 5,000 stores in China, a market that Starbucks believes will ultimately be even bigger than the US. Starbucks currently has about 25,000 stores.

The goal is to elevate the Starbucks brand “around all things coffee, retail and mobile,” Starbucks President Kevin Johnson said at the company’s biennial investors day.

Starbucks last week announced Johnson would replace longtime chief executive Howard Schultz, who will shift to overseeing the build-out 1,000 Starbucks Reserve Stores that aim to build up the coffee chain’s premium business.

Two years ago, Starbucks opened a reserve roastery in its hometown of Seattle that provides an “immersive experience” to java addicts and has led to new drink concoctions such as the Smoked Butterscotch Latte and the Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato.

Starbucks also said it is working to upgrade its mobile application to permit customers to order via an artificial intelligence program. Other technology efforts aim to boost sales through greater personalisation of orders.

The goal of the expansion plans is to grow revenues by 10 percent and earnings per share by 15-20 percent over five years, Starbucks said.

Starbucks shares rose 0.8 percent to $57.90 in midday trade.

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