January 22, 2015 / 9:11 PM / 3 years ago

Starbucks' Americas-region traffic ticks up during holiday quarter

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp on Thursday reported holiday quarter sales at established restaurants in its Americas region were slightly stronger than analysts’ estimate as traffic ticked up.

Sales at Starbucks cafes open at least 13 months were up 5 percent for the U.S.-dominated Americas region in the fiscal first quarter that ended Dec. 28. That included a 2 percent rise in traffic, an acceleration from the 1 percent gain in the prior quarter.

Analysts, on average, had expected Americas same-store sales to rise 4.8 percent, according to Consensus Metrix.

Traffic to Starbucks’ Americas-region cafes had cooled fore five straight quarters, causing some investors to worry that the company’s increased focus on food has slowed service. Starbucks executives, on the other hand, have said that holiday traffic to traditional retail centers was weak due to the growing popularity of online shopping. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles, editing by G Crosse)

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