(Reuters) - Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) may go for acquisitions over the next 12-18 months to expand its consumer products business, Chief Executive Howard Schultz told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.
Looking for growth beyond its namesake cafes, the world's biggest coffee chain has made clear its intentions to strike deals in the fast-growing single-cup brewing segment.
"We are building and investing in resources and people to build a significant consumer products business that over time will rival the size and scale of our retail company," Schultz told the Journal.
Schultz also told the daily that the company will not implement across-the-board price increases at this stage in spite of the volatility in coffee prices
He said the company had locked in coffee prices for 2011 to offset high prices.
Speaking about international expansion plans to the Journal, Schultz said there was "a large runway for growth and opportunity."
"We have an opportunity now to build thousands of stores in China. We're in a very good position to begin to look at India as the next market for Starbucks and we hope to get the first stores there open within 12 months," he told the paper.
(Reporting by Arup Roychoudhury; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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