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Starbucks’ Strategy Is Shifting to Automation and Expansion 

The coffee giant intends to speed up drink-making and open thousands of additional locations in China over the next three years.

Starbucks provided a window into its much-anticipated “reinvention” strategy on Tuesday, highlighting automations it plans to begin using over the next three years that will get food and drink orders to customers faster while cutting down on the work done by employees.

Howard Schultz is light on specifics around some of the concerns that have been raised by employees. The coffee giant has been facing a wave of unionization efforts inside stores across the U.S. While Starbucks is largely viewed as a “winner” of the pandemic, having successfully moved customers away from in-store experiences to drive-through and mobile orders, Howard Schultz, the company’s interim chief executive, said the company had also made strategic mistakes.

In a meeting that ran much of the day, Mr. Schultz and other members of the Starbucks leadership team — many of whom have been installed since he took over this spring, including the newly named chief, Laxman Narasimhan, who will take over in April — gave a look into how they planned to push revenues and profits even higher in the next three years.

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