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Starbucks Plans to Test Smaller Express Cafes in New York

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Starbucks Corp. is planning to test smaller, express stores early next year in New York City, part of an effort by the world’s biggest coffee-shop chain to try different formats.

The cafes will have a limited selection of drinks and food, the Seattle-based company said today in a statement. Starbucks is trying to boost sales by appealing to Americans who are in a hurry. About 40 percent of U.S. company-operated locations have a drive-thru window. Those sites have higher sales growth than non-drive-thru units, it said.

“Customers are interested in both accessibility to the brand as well as speed and convenience,” Cliff Burrows, president of the Americas region, said in the statement.

Starbucks also is planning to open larger stores that showcase coffee-bean roasting and offer tastings to customers. About 100 of these locations are planned for the next five years globally. The first one, which will be 15,000 square feet, will open in Seattle later this year.

Starbucks, which gets about three-quarters of its revenue from the U.S., Canada and Latin America, has been attracting customers with new fare, including Fizzio sodas and La Boulange pastries. The coffee seller also recently tested Greek-yogurt smoothies and new lunch sandwiches.

The company plans to open 1,600 net new stores in fiscal 2015, including about 300 in the U.S.

Starbucks is expanding abroad as well. In July, the company debuted its first cafe in Colombia, a three-story store made with local materials. Its Asian unit is opening more locations in Vietnam, Japan and China.

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