Starbucks CEO: Supply disruptions in Japan will have little effect on company  Companies across the globe have had to deal with supply chain disruptions resulting from this month's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan. Starbucks, however, is well positioned to handle the ramifications from the natural disaster, its chief executive Howard Schultz said. 

Starbucks was forced to shutter 10 percent of its stores in the island nation in the aftermath, but Schultz told reporters the company's size would help it weather the crisis more adeptly than rivals. "The impact financially will be diminished because of the size of Starbucks," Schultz said Tuesday in New York. "It's an extremely important market, not only for its size and profitability, but the emotional connection we have with the Japanese people."

Japan was the first country outside of the U.S. that Starbucks entered, arriving in the country 15 years ago. Starbucks has 900 Japanese locations and was forced to close about 100 of them in areas hard-hit by the natural disasters. Though he left his role as chief executive in 2000, Schultz returned in 2008 as the world's biggest coffee chain struggled during the recession.

Under Schultz's tutelage, Starbucks has endeavored to develop more partnership deals to bring its coffee into homes, where single-cup coffee makings are becoming increasingly popular. In the year ended October 3, profits more than doubled from the year prior, reaching $940 million.
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