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Starbucks Is Gearing Up To Become The Largest Existing Chain, Analyst Says

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Starbucks

Starbucks is gearing up to replace McDonald’s as the world’s most valuable restaurant company, with analysts estimating the firm could eventually expand to 50,000 locations this year.

That’s more than any existing chain, and Nomura analyst Mark Kalinowski predicts the firm will grow its restaurant count by 8.4% during 2017 while increasing same-store sales by over 5%, Bloomberg reports. Experts say Starbucks has an edge over McDonald’s because there is more room for growth and less competition in the beverage industry than in the quick-service restaurant industry.

Analysts are also excited about Starbucks’ new Reserve brand, which sells incredibly expensive coffee and could generate $3B in sales. Despite the company’s room for growth, many experts are quick to say this isn’t all going to happen in 2017, with NPD Group predicting US restaurants will see little if any traffic growth this year. [Bloomberg]