HAMBURG, Sept 22 U.S. coffee shop giant Starbucks Corp. plans major expansion in Germany, CEO Howard Schultz said in an interview with a German newspaper published on Thursday.
The number of German coffee shops will be "doubled or tripled" in coming years, he told German daily Handelsblatt.
Starbucks' German presence is relatively modest although Germany is one of the world's leading coffee drinking countries.
Starbucks has only 150 German coffee shops against 180 in Manhattan alone and a 17,000 branch global network, the report said.
Starbucks is considering more local purchases of bakery products and other food in Germany closer to local tastes, Schultz told the newspaper. Details would be given in the coming 12 months.
Starbucks, which generates about 20 percent of its revenues from international markets, in July announced a reorganization to achieve its goals of generating half of revenues outside the U.S.
Asked by Handelsblatt about the state of Starbucks' European business, Schultz said: "Our business in Europe is still relatively healthy. In Germany the business is running good."
"But we can see very well that the world is currently very fragile and we are considering very carefully where and how we expand."
"In the next 12 months we will largely concentrate on Asia." (Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)