Starbucks’ 40,000 Store Goal

Starbucks started with one store. Today, it has nearly 38,000. Based on its expansion rate, that should reach 40,000 within a year or two.

Starbucks may be the most famous fast food chain in the world, with the possible exception of McDonald’s. Not only did it have 37,222 stores at the end of its most recently reported financial quarter, Same-store sales rose 10% compared to the same period a year ago. Starbucks is on a run. (This is the most popular fast food chain in every state.)

In that quarter, revenue was $9.2 billion, a record for the period. That was a jump of 12%.

Where will Starbucks grow? The company already has a major presence in China and the U.S., its top two markets. There are currently 16,144 Starbucks locations in the U.S. and 6,480 in China. Combined, these two countries generate 61% of Starbucks’ total sales.

While the demand for Starbucks is rising fast enough for it to grow in its home market, the real target is China. China’s comparable store sales rose 46% in the most recent quarter. If there was ever a sign that a market could absorb more stores, it is one with same-store figures that are so high.

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China has been a remarkably fertile market for many other U.S. companies, which cannot be lost on Starbucks’ management. McDonald’s has thousands of locations there. It is also Walmart’s second-largest market based on revenue. (These are the Starbucks capitals of America.)

Starbucks will reach 40,000 locations. Expansion in China alone can get it there.

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