Starbucks Coffee Company: A success story unprecedented. Out of Seattle, WA, grew the largest coffee shop chain the world has ever seen. Today it has more than 12.500 coffee shops in the US. The international expansion started with a shop in Tokyo in 1996. In 2012 it has more than 17,000 stores in 55 countries. That’s 5000 more shops than Burger King and half of McDonald’s number; this is even more impressive knowing that most Starbucks shops are owned by it and not franchised (!). In these days, Norway gets its first Starbucks shop as it opens at Gardermoen Oslo Airport  (though, Starbucks coffee could have been bought in Norwegian retail markets since February 2011). These people sell coffee. Coffee! What kind of operational principles can turn such an every-day product into a billion dollar company?