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Starbucks sees traffic rise over holiday season

Starbucks sees traffic rise over holiday season

Operating income increases 18 percent during first quarter

Starbucks Corp.'s same-store sales and traffic improved over the holiday season, according to an earnings report released Thursday.

Global same-store sales increased 5 percent for the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain, including a 2-percent increase in traffic, during the first quarter ended Dec. 28.

“Starbucks record Q1 fiscal 2015 financial and operating performance was exceptional by every metric and standard,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and CEO, in a statement. “Our reimagined in-store holiday experience that included a vastly expanded assortment of Starbucks Cards, new holiday food, beverage and merchandise offerings and the opportunity to win ‘Starbucks for Life’ resonated powerfully with our customers and drove both increased traffic and tremendous excitement in our stores and around the Starbucks brand.”

The Americas region, which includes the U.S., showed similar trends, with same-store sales rising 5 percent and traffic increasing 2 percent, an improvement over the 1-percent increase in foot traffic during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

In the U.S. alone, Starbucks said transactions increased by nearly 9 million year over year.

The company noted that earnings reflected a litigation credit in last year’s first quarter tied to arbitration with former packaged-goods partner Kraft, as well as the impact this year related to the acquisition of Starbucks Japan.

Excluding those items, Starbucks’ operating income grew 18 percent, to $934.8 million, the company said.

The company opened a net 512 new locations around the world during the first quarter, including the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, a premium variant the company plans to grow.

Consumers added $1.6 billion to Starbucks Cards during the quarter, an increase of 17 percent compared with a year ago. The My Starbucks Rewards program hit more than 9 million members, including 896,000 members who joined in December.

One in seven Americans received Starbucks gift cards over the holiday season, an increase from one in eight in the first quarter of fiscal 2014.

A promotion that allowed certain Starbucks Card users to win “Starbucks for Life” helped boost traffic, officials said.


Result: $983.1 million, or $1.30 per share
% Increase: 82% (from $540.7 million, or 71 cents per share)


Result: $4.8 billion
% Increase: 13% (from $4.2 billion)


% Increase global consolidated: 5%

% Increase Americas: 5%

% Increase Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA): 4%

% Increase China Asia Pacific (CAP): 8%

Source: Company report

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Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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