Starbucks Corp., the world’s biggest coffee chain, plans to more than double the rate at which it opens stores to an average of more than one a day as the global economy recovers.
“Our ability to navigate through the financial crisis and come out much stronger gives us reason to start growing the company again,” Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz said in an interview in China’s Yunnan province today. He plans to open 500 stores in the fiscal year that began in October, with 400 outside the U.S., he said.
China, which offers the best opportunities for investment over the next year according to a Bloomberg survey, will be Starbucks’ biggest growth market in two years, Schultz said. Jinlong Wang, the restaurant operator’s China chief, said outlets in the world’s most populous nation will exceed 1,000 in the “near future.”