A "local" strategy it implemented last year has paid off nicely so far but why ruin a good thing by putting pressure on the firm to expand at that rate compared to its 50-75 new store range over the past two years. Starbucks Japan currently has 624 stores.
Starbucks Japan could turn into a McDonald's Japan (JASDAQ: 2702) where it becomes more of a commodity rather than a specialty if it's on every street corner. There are two interesting issues however: (1) having a Starbucks on every corner means you might actually be able to grab a seat with your cup of coffee but (2) if you are a smoker you probably won't choose smoke-free Starbucks anyway.
I guess we'll have to wait and see how the store expansion goes.
Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:SBUX) owns 40% of Starbucks Coffee Japan.