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    More Starbucks Competition Coming

    The coffeehouse chain plans to open 200 new U.S stores by September 2012.

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Buoyed by traffic that's back to pre-recession levels, Starbucks plans to make a bigger push to open more stores in the United States and around the world, MarketWatch reported.

    The company has laid out plans to open 800 new locations for its fiscal year that ends September 2012, a 33-percent increase over this year. Two hundred of these stores will be built in the United States, equally split between company-operated and licensed sites.

    Starbucks currently has 17,018 company-operated and licensed stores worldwide. The company jammed the brakes on expansion in the summer of 2008, shuttering nearly 1,000 U.S. stores after consumers stopped spending as much money on its coffee and fancy lattes, the report stated.

    Since traffic growth resumed last year, Starbucks continues to see consumers spending on its coffee and food items. The company's finance chief Troy Alstead said in a conference call that the most recent quarter marked the first time that its average daily transactions per store eclipsed 2006 levels -- previously the highest year on record.

    Store traffic also has been brisk. For the second straight year, comparable-store sales growth could reach 7 percent, according to the company's estimates.

     

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