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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Starbucks Aggression 

Maybe it's because I gave up caffeine for Lent, but this story at Salon just boggles my mind: Starbucks unveils aggressive growth plan.
Starbucks is opening coffee shops at the rate of about 3 1/2 a day worldwide, and that figure could increase, chief executive Orin Smith told shareholders at the company's annual meeting Tuesday.

The long-term plan is to have about 25,000 stores worldwide -- more than triple the nearly 8,000 stores the coffee retailer has right now. And even that amount seems a little "light," according to Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz.

To accommodate those plans, the company, which already employs more than 80,000 people, is hiring 250 people a day, the executives told a packed house of thousands of shareholders.
They aren't already aggressive? You can stand in Dupont Circle and be within view of at least four Starbucks. I guess the line that sums it up best is the one that ends the article: "Recounting the changes in his 22 years with the company, [longtime Starbucks employee Tom] Walters said: 'I just can't believe there are so many Starbucks stores.'"

I don't begrudge the chain its success; I've been known to enjoy more than a few skim chai lattes and/or espressos, but they are overreaching a bit in trying to block Star Bock beer [ Language Log | NPR | Ones and Zeros ].

The other question is has Starbucks gone after Dark Star Brewing Co. in England? I get ghits for the company and its pub, The Evening Star, when googling "starbock," but there's no mention of the bock on the Dark Star website and it takes a bit of poking through to the tasting notes page at the pub to find mention of it.

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