Global coffee chain Starbucks yesterday posted an outlook weaker than expected for its current quarter, but sales are still rising.
Revenue increased to $4.18bn, missing the estimate of $4.23bn from analysts and disappointing Wall Street. After reporting those quarterly sales on Thursday however, Starbucks raised hopes by announcing it will offer a delivery option on its mobile app in select areas of the U.S starting next year.
The Seattle-based company has declined to provide further details, but it has been pushing to get customers more interactive with the app as a way to build customer loyalty. It also said previously, that it plans to let customers across the country place orders ahead of time on their smartphone by next year, an option intended to get people in and out of stores quicker.
“Imagine the ability to create a standing order of Starbucks delivered hot to your desk daily” Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz told investors in a conference call on Thursday. “That’s our version of e-commerce on steroids” he said.
Starbucks has been extending its offering for sometime now, having developed new beverage varieties and revamping its food menu in moves that are being said to help bolster store traffic throughout the day. The brand’s well known Pumpkin Spice Latte was launched earlier than usual this year, to coincide with a pumpkin theme around the burgeoning Halloween market.
Further efforts of Starbucks’ expansion include the move to focus on the high-end coffee market, with plans to sell rarer coffees it often sells for a limited time at 1,500 locations globally, as well as open at least 100 stores that would be designed to sell those rare coffees exclusively. Executives have said the coffee business is its core focus, and it will introduce new customised espresso beverages and cold coffee drinks to stay ahead of the competition.
The coffee chain is still growing its footprint having opened 500 net new stores across the globe in the fourth quarter, bringing its total to 21,366 stores in 65 countries. It is midway through its acquisition of Starbucks Japan, which represents its second-largest market in retail store sales and is expected to boost revenue once fully owned.