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After Closing 600 Locations, America's Largest Coffee Chain Is Expanding Again

New stores will be added as part of the company's new takeout model.

After closing numerous locations during the pandemic, and seeing recent sales miss estimates, Starbucks is beginning to reclaim its rightful spot as America's reigning coffee chain.

According to Restaurant Business, the chain said last week that it will be adding hundreds of new locations across the United States in the new fiscal year that started just weeks ago.

Starbucks May Be Hiding the Real Reason Behind Store Closures In New York

The estimated 500 new Starbucks cafés that will soon be added signal a new wave of growth for the chain that shuttered some 600 locations during the pandemic. The new stores won't restore the chain's previous net footprint, but the company hopes the move will compensate for the closures in terms of sales. The majority of the closed outlets were in urban locations or malls, whereas the new units will largely be established in locations where takeaway and drive-thru service can be the primary drivers of sales.

Drive-thru and mobile orders now account for an astonishing 70% of Starbucks' sales, while before the COVID-19 pandemic, the chain's takeaway model brought in about 55% of its sales. "We made the strategic decision to transform the store portfolio in the United States," said the company's CEO, Kevin Johnson.

Aside from the recent closings and the new stores coming in America, Starbucks has also been expanding rapidly abroad. In fact, 75% of its planned expansion in the near future will occur outside of America, with major growth planned in Asia and particularly in China, where the chain enjoys a high level of popularity.

According to The Motley Fool, the company is hoping to add an impressive 1,500 locations in overseas markets in the current fiscal year.  This comes after Starbucks grew its number of international locations by 8% last year even as it contracted domestically.

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Steven John
Steven John is a freelancer writer for Eat This, Not That! based just outside New York City. Read more about Steven