The following is an excerpt from JACK HOUGH | March 16, 2012 | Smartmoney.com |
Starbucks has been the subject of punch lines about chain store ubiquity at least since the summer of 1998, when The Onion, a satirical newspaper, ran a headline about the opening of a new Starbucks inside the restroom of an existing one. Shares have since gone from hitting new highs to hitting much higher ones, a plunge during the Great Recession notwithstanding. Investors who held straight through have made about five times their money — not bad for a chain that was already everywhere.
Of course, Starbucks wasn’t everywhere back then. It has since opened thousands of stores in the U.S. and abroad (the tiny Caribbean island of Curacao just got its first), and it has learned how to push more beans and brewed coffee by teaming up with grocers and fast-food chains.
If the world is finally saturated with Starbucks coffee, it isn’t showing. Its quarterly sales recently jumped 9 percent, not counting the contribution of recently opened stores.
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