US coffee bar chain Starbucks is mulling plans to launch a new store format that only sells whole coffee beans and does not serve drinks. President and CEO Orin Smith told the Asian Wall Street Journal that the pilot in the US would now build on experience gathered in Tokyo, where a luxury whole-bean store was opened earlier this year.

The Tokyo store is distinctively branded to look different than Japan's 270-plus coffee shops. In the US, all stores sell both drinks and coffee beans, but the group says it is "committed" to the experiment of selling just beans in certain stores.

In Asia, meanwhile, the group is planning to expand to Indonesia and is searching for a local partner to get operations there off the ground.


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