PhotoIn its fourth-quarter earnings report, Starbucks said it’s planning to open 2,100 new stores next year. President and CEO Kevin Johnson says the company plans to focus on long-term growth markets in the U.S. and China.

The Seattle-based coffee giant said its revenue grew to more than six billion dollars in July, August, and September of this year -- up 11 percent from the same time last year.

The chain attributed its strong performance to an increase in afternoon sales and consumer enthusiasm for cold drinks (including iced beverages and Refreshers), as well as certain streamlining actions to decrease the amount of time employees spend on administrative tasks so they can spend more time working with customers.

“More recently, we’ve taken steps to simplify work in our stores by automating inventory tracking and replenishment, which is enabling us to redirect more store partner time toward serving our customers,” Johnson told the media. “Business simplification is creating value through a more focused and more efficient operation.”

Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Rosalind Brewer added that a social media effort for the chain’s popular Pumpkin Spice Latte also played a role in their fiscal fourth quarter success.

"It did a nice job for us in the quarter," Brewer said.

Adding more stores

In the most recent quarter, Starbucks added about 600 new stores to its 29,300 restaurants overall. Last year, the company opened nearly 2,300 stores. In May, Starbucks announced that it intends to build 3,000 new stores in China over the next several years.

“Starbucks record Q4 performance reflected meaningful improvement in virtually every critical operating metric compared to Q3,” Johnson said in a statement. “As we enter fiscal 2019, we are executing against a clear growth agenda, with a focus on our long-term growth markets of the U.S. and China.”

The company’s shares rose 10 percent shortly after the markets opened Friday.


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