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7 Fun Facts about Starbucks In Honor of Its IPO's 25th Anniversary

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Starbucks (SBUX - Free Report) had its initial public offering 25 years ago today on June 26th, 1992. At the time, the company was 19 years old. Starbucks had 140 locations with a revenue of $73.5 million. At the end of its first day of trading, Starbucks sold 12% of the company for shares of $17 each and was able to raise about $25 million. By September 1992, Starbucks’ share price had soared by 70%.

Today, Starbucks has over 25,000 locations and is worth $86.8 billion. At today’s close, each share is worth $59.81.  

So how did Starbucks become the coffee giant it is today? Let’s look at 7 interesting facts about the company and find out about its history.

1: Starbucks was Almost Named “Pequod.”

The famous coffee franchise considered the names “Pequod” and “Cargo House” initially, with Pequod being the famous ship from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. However, the founders didn’t think it sounded appealing, so they chose Starbucks, after Captain Ahab’s first mate, Starbuck. This isn’t a surprise, considering that the three original founders were Jerry Baldwin, an English teacher, Zev Siegl, a history teacher, and Gordon Bowker, a writer.

2: Starbucks Didn’t Sell Ready-to-Drink Coffee at First.

The first Starbucks, located at 2000 Western Avenue in Seattle, opened in 1971. The store didn’t sell brewed coffee, just roasted whole coffee beans and coffee-making equipment. The only brewed coffee in the store was given as free samples. It wasn’t until 1987 when the original three owners sold the company to Howard Schultz that Starbucks sold ready-to-drink coffee.

3: Starbucks’ IPO Helped Double the Number of Stores.

At the time of its initial public offering in June 1992, Starbucks had 140 outlets and a value of $271 million. The company sold 12% of the company, which raised about $25 million and allowed the number of stores to double over the next two years.

4: Starbucks Bought the Rights to the “Frappuccino” Beverage in 1994.

Starbucks bought The Coffee Connection, a coffee chain prominent in the Boston area, in 1994. This allowed Starbucks to use, make, market, and sell the “Frappuccino” beverage that The Coffee Connection sold previously. As of 2012, Starbucks had an average Frappuccino sale of over $2 billion.

5: More than 20% of Starbucks’ Orders in the U.S. are Made Using Mobile Devices.

In 2009, Starbucks began testing its mobile app with the Starbucks card, which allowed customers to use prepaid funds to purchase products at Starbucks. Starbucks released its completed mobile app in 2011, now letting customers pre-order drinks and pick them up at the counter.

6: Starbucks Owns 7 Subsidiaries.

In addition to running thousands of Starbucks locations, Starbucks owns other brand names such as Seattle’s Best Coffee, Teavana, Tazo Tea, Evolution Fresh, Torrefazione Italia Coffee, La Boulange, and Ethos Water.

7: There are 25,981 Stores in 75 Countries.

As of June 2nd, 2017, Starbucks has 25,981 stores operating worldwide on every continent except Antarctica. The first store outside of North America was in Tokyo, which opened in 1996, and it appears that the company will continue to expand internationally.

By far, the biggest amount of Starbucks locations is in the U.S., with 13,327 stores at just over 50%. China comes in at 2nd with 2,359 stores, which is 9.6% of the total amount. Starbucks’ China stores have the largest profit margin, and the company plans to have 5,000 stores in China by 2021.

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