How Starbucks Became An $80B Business
In its 47-year history, Starbucks has transformed from a single coffee bean store in Seattle to a 30,000 cafe international coffee power house. But massive expansion hasn't come without growing pains.
It's no secret that Starbucks has been struggling to get U.S. customers to frequent its cafes more often. While sales have been positive, the number of customer visits continues to stagnate.
Same-store sales, a key metric in the restaurant industry, have dwindled over the last 12 months as competition heated up and customers were uninspired by some of Starbucks' limited-time offerings. While comparable-store sales exceeded expectations in the fourth quarter that ended Sept. 30, rising 4 percent, much of that was due Starbucks charging more for its lattes.
Under the careful watch of Howard Schultz, Starbucks pursued a strategy of aggressive expansion in the late '80s and early '90s. By the time the company went public in 1992, it had 165 stores.