Starbucks, McDonald's Bent on Growth

While next year might still bring a considerable number of store closures, at least two household name chains will contribute to new store openings. Starbucks has revealed plans to launch a new health and wellness concept in the first half of 2012. It has already bought a juice company called Evolution Fresh in preparation for the launch, planning to incorporate it into the concept.

Meanwhile, McDonald's, which in recent years became Starbucks' competitor in the war for Americans' coffee dollars, announced it will step up both new store openings and store renovations worldwide in 2012.

When two of the largest restaurant chains in the U.S. want to expand, is that a sign that the future might not be as bleak as we may fear?

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