Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington, USA. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 15,012 stores in 44 countries. Starbucks sells drip brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks, other hot and cold drinks, snacks, and items such as mugs and coffee beans. Through the Starbucks Entertainment division and Hear Music brand, the company also markets books, music, and film. Many of the company's products are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Starbucks-brand ice cream and coffee are also sold at grocery stores.
From Starbucks' founding in Seattle as a local coffee bean roaster and retailer, the company has expanded rapidly. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening a new store every workday, a pace that continued into the 2000s. Domestic growth has since slowed, although the company continues to expand in foreign markets and will open a net of 900 new stores outside of the U.S. in 2009. The first location outside of the United States and Canada was established in 1990s, and they now constitute almost one third of Starbucks' stores.
By late March 2008, Starbucks had more than 16,226 stores worldwide, including 11,434 stores located in the United States. On July 1, 2008 the company announced it was closing 600 under-performing company-owned stores and cutting U.S. expansion plans amid growing economic uncertainty. On July 29, 2008, Starbucks also cut almost 1,000 non-retail jobs as part of its bid to re-energize the brand and boost its profit. Of the new cuts, 550 of the positions are layoffs and the rest are unfilled jobs. These closings and layoffs have effectively ended the company’s period of prolific growth and expansion that began in the mid-1990s.