Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971 by Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegl. To begin with, the three partners only sold roasted whole coffee beans, and it was not until they sold the company to employee Howard Schultz in 1987 that the Starbucks we know today really began to take shape. Schultz, still the Chairman and CEO of Starbucks in 2016, began the rapid expansion of the coffee chain. According to Forbes magazine, he was worth an estimated 2.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.
The company’s revenue growth also reflects its success: Starbucks’ annual revenue almost tripled in the last ten years, reaching 21.32 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Still continuing its global expansion, Starbucks increased its number of establishments by around two thousand during 2016, totaling 25,085 stores by the end of the fiscal year. Well over half of the company’s coffee shops are found in its home country, the United States. A Nielsen Scarborough survey in spring 2016 found that over 35.7 million Americans had visited a Starbucks within the last 30 days.
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