Star­bucks fo­cuses on Seat­tle’s Best for growth


St a r b uc k s Corp. , the world’s largest cof­fee-shop op­er­a­tor, is adding smaller lo­ca­tions as it ex­pands its Seat­tle’s Best Cof­fee fran­chises in the West­ern U.S. and Mid­west.

Since open­ing Seat­tle’s Best to fran­chis­ing last year, the com­pany has signed deals with 10 new op­er­a­tors that plan to open stores in Cal­i­for­nia, Illi­nois and Texas, John Wuy­check, vice-pres­i­dent of fran­chise de­vel­op­ment, said Mon­day.

Star­bucks is re­cov­er­ing from a strat­egy of open­ing too many cafes too quickly, ex­ec­u­tives have said. The com­pany has shifted growth plans to its ju­nior brand, Tom Eh­lers, vice-pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager of Seat­tle’s Best, said Fri­day. The com­pany is adding smaller kiosk-sized lo­ca­tions in places such as New York and Hous­ton, where a full cafe won’t fit, Wuy­check said.

“We’re al­ways looking for full cafes, but many times it’s eas­ier to fit a smaller kiosk into those spa­ces,” he said. The West­ern U.S. mar­kets “are very strong in­flu­enc­ing mar­kets for the rest of the coun­try. We’re get­ting strong in­ter­est there.”

The com­pany is also of­fer­ing 20 per cent dis­counts on fran­chisee fees to vet­er­ans and mi­nori­ties in a part­ner­ship with the In­ter­na­tional Fran­chise As­so­ci­a­tion, a Wash­ing­ton­based trade group. Fran­chisees in­vest from $265,200 to $440,000 to open a Seat­tle’s Best lo­ca­tion.

Star­bucks rose 35 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $22.14 on the Nas­daq stock mar­ket.

CAFE Cal­gary, the lo­cal


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