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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 October 2006, 22:30 GMT 23:30 UK
Starbucks to triple store numbers
Starbucks coffee shop
Starbucks is predicting further vast growth
Starbucks has increased its long-term store expansion target to 40,000 outlets around the world, more than triple the existing number.

The US coffee giant, which currently has 12,000 global outlets, sees half of the eventual 40,000 stores being in the US and the other half overseas.

Starbucks, which had previously had a target of 30,000 branches, had not given a timescale for the new figure.

Same store sales were up 6% in the five weeks to 1 October from a year earlier.

This was much higher than the 3.3% rise expected by analysts.

'Unique opportunity'

The latest sales figure and the new expansion target saw its shares end Thursday trading in New York up 8%.

Starbucks said its stores in the US were benefiting from increased business from Hispanics, women and less affluent consumers.

"We don't believe that we are even 50% through to the unique opportunity we have [for store numbers] in North America," said Starbucks founder and chairman Howard Schultz.

Abroad it was now focusing its attention on expanding into China, India, Egypt, Brazil and Russia.

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