Shares of Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) were higher in mid-afternoon trading on Wednesday, after the company outlined its ambitious five-year growth plan at its investor day in New York earlier today. The event comes less than a week after CEO Howard Schultz announced he will be succeeded by COO Kevin Johnson in April, but would stay on as executive chairman.
The coffee company plans to open 12,000 stores globally by 2021, with 5,000 of those stores opening in China alone. About 1,000 of those stores will be high-end Reserve Roastery stores that will sell coffee for about $10 a cup. Schultz will start to focus on building this premium Reserve brand, while Johnson takes over the day-to-day operations of the company.
The Reserve stores are "very, very interesting" because the costs are "extreme" due to the fancy ways it will be making the coffee, Najarian Family Office cofounder Pete Najarian said. "The costs are going to be extreme. You just wonder, who's really the buyer of this? It's like going to a wine."
While investors will have to wait and see if it has any traction, the most important part about the Reserve brand is that Schultz is leading its expansion, Pete added.
The "best thing" to come out of the investor day event is Starbuck's claim that 25% of its business will be lunch in five years, Najarian Family Office cofounder Jon Najarian said. "That's huge for these guys."
The international expansion seen in the projection for 5,000 new stores in China is the reason to own this stock despite the high multiple that it has, Lebenthal Asset Management CEO Jim Lebenthal noted.
(Starbucks is held in Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS. See all of Cramer's holdings with a free trial.)