Starbucks expects sales to return to growth next year

Starbucks expects sales to return to growth next year

Starbucks expects its sales to grow next year, the company said Thursday.

In the United States and the Americas, it expects same-store sales to jump between 17% and 22% next year. Internationally, the company is expecting a 25% to 30% spike.

The numbers would be a sharp turnaround.

Globally, sales at Starbucks stores open for at least 13 months fell 9% in the three months that ended on September 27, compared to the same period last year.

Still, the results were better than anticipated. CEO Kevin Johnson said there was a “faster-than-expected recovery in our two lead growth markets, the U.S. and China,” in a statement Thursday.

Disruptions to people’s morning commutes have been a drag on breakfast sales, once a rare growing segment for food chains. And because so many people have been staying home for their breakfast and morning coffee, coffee sellers like Starbucks and Dunkin’ have suffered.

But people are starting to return to stores, said Johnson.

In September, comparable store sales were down 4%, a sign of improvement. When Starbucks started to reopen seating in stores, customers started coming back, Johnson said. And though overall sales fell in the quarter, sales at Starbucks’ suburban locations and drive-thru restaurants grew.

The company also got a boost from its pumpkin-flavored drinks, Johnson said, noting that the company’s Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew has been outselling the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Dunkin’, which reported its third-quarter financial results on Thursday morning, also said that its sales have been improving. Its same-store sales ticked up .9% for the quarter.