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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Discusses Future Store Growth, Tea and Recent Acquisition of Costa Rican Coffee Farm

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After the market close, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), was on CNBC with Maria Bartiromo for an exclusive interview.

Schultz began by talking about store growth, both domestically and abroad. He stated that Starbucks would open 3,000 stores in the Americas over the next five years, half of which would be in the United States. He went on to say he expected 1,500 Starbucks stores in China by 2015.

Schultz stated that the company would likely be very selective in any potential acquisitions, noting that the company would have to significantly contribute to Starbucks' overall business model and would have to be very strategic to the store experience for it to be considered.

Schultz believes that Starbucks can transform tea, just as it did with coffee, when being asked about the recent acquisition of the 300-store Teavana last year.

Finally, Schultz elaborated on the recent purchase of a Costa Rican coffee farm and what role it would have with the company going forward. He stated two main purposes that the farm would have. First, he believes Starbucks will be able to create high-end and efficient processes to teach other farmers how to make great coffee.

The second reason was to make extremely rare, high-grade "micro-lots" of specialty coffee. Like fine wine, the coffee would be limited in supply and thus command a premium price for consumers. Schultz reiterated that the farm purchase was not because of the coffee-rust fungus that is currently plaguing coffee supplies in Latin America.

Starbucks was up 1.06 percent on Wednesday's session, closing at $57.43.

Posted-In: Howard SchultzCNBC News Commodities Management Markets Media Best of Benzinga


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