Starbucks Global Expansion Strategy

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Grande Latte, Frappuccinno, and Espresso Regalo – all words related to the specialty coffee business. Chances are, if you've been to an airport, grocery store, mall, or the downtown area of a large city, you've been to or seen a Starbucks. Without a doubt, Starbucks is the de facto leader in the specialty coffee market, and not just in the United States. In 1999, Starbucks expanded into China. Today, their expansion continues in China and around the world. Starbucks now has stores in 47 countries. Their global expansion strategy and performance is stellar. Let's examine some possible components of Starbuck's global expansion strategy that enables them to determine how, why, and where they expand. According to their Annual Report, Starbucks opened up 2,571 new stores in 2007 ( They now operate over 15,000 stores around the globe. In China, their aggressive expansion continues. In 2006, Financial Times quoted Howard Schultz as saying "China has emerged as the strategic priority within the company today and in the long term. The opportunity we have in China is like no other" (17). To succeed globally, companies must analyze and choose from many strategic plans. One way they do this is by using a SWOT analysis – a strategic planning tool used to evaluate Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The goal of a SWOT analysis is to identify key internal and external factors that affect the desired outcome. Strengths and weaknesses are internal to the company and include things like wage/benefits, corporate culture, leadership, marketing, and operations. Opportunities and threats are external to the company and include things like government regulations, competition, and economic and social forces. Applying a SWOT analysis to Starbucks global expansion strategy shows why they have been successful. Consider the internal factors. First is corporate culture. Starbucks aims to "develop enthusiastically...
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