Coffee Break

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 22, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Big bucks for Starbucks (search). The caffeine heavyweight’s second quarter earnings beating Wall Streets estimates by two cents. Starbucks says that it is now opening three stores per day worldwide, planning to have as many as 25,000 coffee shops globally.

Joining us now from Seattle is Orin Smith. Mr. Smith is Starbucks president and CEO.

Thank you for coming, sir.


CAVUTO: How do you keep up with that kind of growth?

SMITH: Well, we didn’t build the engine overnight. It has taken us a decade to create the infrastructure in order to be able to grow as rapidly as we do. With about three-and-a-half stores a day, we have capacity throughout the world to support that kind of development.

CAVUTO: Are you worried about a whole world of just like really buzzed caffeinated people?

SMITH: No, I’m really not. As a matter of fact, when you look at some of the countries in Europe, they still have far, far more coffee houses per capita than the U.S. does. And certainly astronomically higher numbers than you would see in some of the developing countries and the Asia Pacific.

CAVUTO: That’s a very good point. I’m just wondering, though, Mr. Smith, I mean, if you see what is happening abroad, I mean, the U.S., it is popular, as my friend John Gibson would say, to bash the United States. How are you received abroad? When they try the Starbucks product, what are they saying?

SMITH: Well, we have been extraordinarily surprised by how quickly the brand has moved and how quickly the customer has accepted not only the brand but our product. And that is happening in Europe, it is happening in Asia, it is happening in the Middle East, it’s happening in Latin America.

CAVUTO: Is it happening in France?

SMITH: Yes, it is.

CAVUTO: Really?

SMITH: We only have three stores, so it is too early to claim victory. But right now -- and on the one hand, I’m not so proud of this, but in that first store there is a 30-minute wait to get to that counter.


SMITH: And I’m not so proud of the service that that implies, but it certainly does indicate that Parisians have grasped our concept and appreciate our coffees.

CAVUTO: All right. Orin Smith, the Starbucks president and CEO in Seattle. Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

SMITH: You bet. Bye-bye.

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