How Many Starbucks?

I read that there are now more than 900 Starbucks stores outside of the US. I also read that Starbucks opened over 1200 stores inside the US last year (100 a month!).

So, how many stores do they have?

According to their website, at the end of 2001, they had 4,709 stores.

From a Starbucks press release:

Starbucks Coffee International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Starbucks Coffee Company, the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 5,000 retail locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.

McDonalds claims to have over 30,000 worldwide. Guess there aren’t enough Starbucks out there yet to catch up…

I was in Seattle a couple weeks ago (cool city), and was a little suprised to find that Starbucks wasn’t quite as highly regarded there as in many other places I’ve been. Seem’s a lot of M&P’s got bumped out of business. There are a lot of outlets, often only a couple of blocks apart.
They do over-roast their coffee.
Has anyone else noticed their robot espresso machines?
I better stop now. :smiley:

Is it just me, or is Starbucks more hype than anything else? I was there while on a club trip for college a couple of months ago, and (we were visiting landmarks in Pittsburgh that had to do with the Underground Railroad and the Abolition movement), and I ordered a hot chocolate with a shot of raspberry. I figured-hey, everyone loves Starbucks, this should be some pretty kickass hot chocolate.

Instead, what I got, was warm chocolate-fake raspberry YooHoo.
A packet of Swisse Miss and some hot water tastes better.

So why are they so successful?

(although the oreo cheesecake brownie was good).

Starbucks is successful because they genuinely recognize that unhappy employees cannot make customers happy.

They make benefits available to anyone who works 20 or more hours a week.

EVERY employee with over 6 months on the job recieves stock option grants every October.

We are TOTALLY empowered to satisfy customers. Likewise, we rarely have to deal with irate customers the way most people who deal with the public must. This creates something of a “feedback loop of satisfaction” that makes for a great atmosphere to work in and a great place to visit.

This may be true within Seattle, but it’s not generally true. I heard a radio interview with a Starbucks exec, probably on PRI’s MarketPlace IIRC. The interviewer addressed the issue of backlash against Starbucks for pushing all the other coffee houses out of business. The Starbucks exec reported when they started their initial expansion, there were something like 300 dedicated coffee shops in the country. When they opened their 1000th store, there were over 4500 coffee shops in the country. Quite the opposite of driving out the competition, they created a market that allowed many competitors to flourish. I may have the exact numbers wrong because I don’t have a cite handy but the ratios are about right and I remember this distinctly because it corrected my own misconception about their industry. I’m no defender of Starbucks and find their product mediocre at best (preferring Peet’s myself), but the claims that they’re squashing the little guys (at least the long-established little guys) seem to be unfounded.

Asked and answered.