Jokes about the ubiquity of Starbucks have become almost as common as the coffeeshops themselves. There are so many, a comic once cracked, that one had just opened in his living room.
Now, that breathless growth is showing serious stress.
For years, Starbucks Corp. has been able to throw up new stores, sometimes placing them across the street from each other, while sales at older stores still climbed at break-neck speed. But in the past year, the growth in Starbucks same-store sales revenue and number of transactions in the U.S. has slowed.