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Starbucks' New Growth Vehicle

In an effort to find new avenues for growth, Starbucks Corp. announced that 523-sq.-ft. drive-thru locations will become the main expansion vehicle for its Seattle's Best Coffee division.

The Seattle Times reports the units will be operated by franchisees and will be located mostly on empty suburban lots, such as Best Buy parking lots. According to company executive Jim McDermet:

“A lot of people out there don’t have cafe lifestyles. There are people working two jobs or going to school at night, and coffee helps get them through the day, but they’ve had to choose coffee that’s not really good.”

If that sounds like a veiled shot at McDonald’s, consider that the burger giant has greatly expanded its coffee offerings in recent years and is making a big play for Starbucks’ market.

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