It might seem there’s already a Starbucks at every corner, but the international coffee conglomerate is far from satisfied.
Chief Executive Jim Donald said Thursday morning that Starbucks Corp. has increased its goal by 10,000 to open 40,000 stores worldwide, which would more than triple the current number of stores.
Donald made his announcement before analysts during a conference at Pier 66 in Seattle. The company currently has 12,440 stores globally. In 1982, when Chairman Howard Schultz joined the company, Starbucks had four stores.
The company also announced it had reached an agreement with Apple Computer Inc. to have Starbucks’ Hear Music catalog displayed on the iTunes store, giving consumers the ability to preview, buy and download a variety of Hear Music titles.
Schultz said the partnership gives Starbucks an opportunity to be aligned with a market leader for music downloads.
“It’s really a parallel strategy for Starbucks,” Schultz said. “There are multiple ways of how we want to be close to the customer. You are the company you keep. … We have aligned ourselves with not only the leader, but one that is defining the evolution of technology.”
Meanwhile, Donald said even he is amazed at the company’s continued growth, but he estimated Starbucks would eventually be in 41 countries and have more than 195,000 employees. The company currently has 135,000 workers in 37 countries, including the U.S. “Our global retail growth is even bigger than we previously thought,” Donald said.
Donald did not set a date for when Starbucks would achieve its goal, but Schultz said Starbucks still has plenty of room to grow.
“We have less than 8 percent of the entire coffee category in North America,” Schultz said.
The company also provided research on new customers that shows Starbucks is broadening its socioeconomic base, although the company still appeals to those with higher incomes who are well-educated.
The company said the average income of its new customers who made their first visit in the past year is $80,000, compared to $92,000 from five years ago. About 30 percent of new customers are college graduates, compared to 45 percent from five years ago. And, the average age of a new Starbucks customer is 42, compared to 40 from five years ago.