After a period of over-expansion and uncertainty, Starbucks balanced the ship delivering record-setting financial results in 2010 and entered 2011 focused on improving top line growth and international expansion. The Starbucks brand is very strong and the company continues to capture a larger market share as the premier retailer of specialty coffee. Celebrating their 40-year operating history in the Spring of 2011, Starbucks' management reaffirmed their growth plans, utilizing a global retail footprint.
From a net lease prospective, it is important to recognize that Starbucks' initial growth and market dominance can be contributed to Starbucks ability to find great real estate locations. As others have pointed out, the Starbucks concept and success is driven as much by real estate as it is by coffee and the Starbucks experience. As a result, Starbucks has not only become the premier retailer of specialty coffee, but Starbucks' retail locations have also become popular net lease investments.
Starbucks typically operates under a 10 or 20 year net lease (varies between NN and NNN) with rental increases every five years. With more than 11,000 location in the US, Starbucks locations can be found in both urban and suburban locations, and their locations take advantage of other traffic generators, typically being positioned on the commuting-side of traffic patterns. The average Starbucks store size varies depending on urban versus suburban location, but the newer free-standing locations range from 1,700 - 2,700 SF situated on 0.50 - 1.00+/- of land. The prototypical store model offers a drive-thru window and the configuration is adaptable to a variety of alternative uses.
The combination of a strong brand, stable financials, and premier locations makes Starbucks an appealing option for net lease investors.
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