Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz told shareholders at the group’s 2014 annual meeting that the business wants to almost double its market capitalisation to $100bn.
Although he gave no date to hit this target, Schultz told the group’s investors that the company is only in the “nascent stages of its growth and development”.
Schultz said there are more than 5,000 publicly listed companies on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Of those, 150 have a market cap greater than $50bn. Only 16 companies are increasing revenue by 10% or greater a year. Only 13 are growing earnings per share of at least 15% a year – including Google, Amazon, Facebook, Visa and MasterCard.
“Only one on the NASDAQ is a brick-and-mortar retailer with the unique combination of physical and digital assets to navigate the seismic changes in consumer behavior we witnessed this past holiday,” he said. “Starbucks.”
Schultz also asked shareholders to consider the role and responsibility of a for-profit, public company.
“The world needs leadership now more than ever. I recognize we are not a perfect company, but we have a responsibility to use our scale for good,” Schultz said. “The currency of leadership is truth and transparency. What we need now more than ever before is citizenship over partisanship.”
The company also announced a collaboration with Oprah Winfrey, the US talk show host, to sell an Oprah-branded chai blend at Starbucks and Teavana stores in the US and Canada.