NEW YORK CITY-Jamba Inc., the owner and operator of more than 640 Jamba Juice stores in more than 24 states, has lofty goals of going global, said CEO Paul Clayton in a presentation at the Thomas Weisel Partners Consumer Conference on Tuesday. He told the audience that the company has a long-term goal of hitting the 5,000 store mark, though he didn’t give a proposed timeframe.

The blended juice company is based in Emeryville, CA, and has more than 50 percent of its stores there. It favors a company-owned strategy, with only just more than 115 stores run by franchisees. “We think there’s a substantial upside in the development of this brand, and we’d like to control it’s execution,” Clayton said.

Since its start in ??, the company has branched out to major markets such as New York City, Seattle, Florida, Texas and Chicago. Clayton said the growth will spread from these markets, but that he wants to make sure that target unit economics are adhered to as they grow.

This means, he said, that the stores have to start growing its customer base. About 80% of customers, accounting for 40% of sales, only visit the store about once a month, he said. “Our internal goal is to increase that visit time to 2.5 times per month,” he said. The company is launching several initiatives to raise brand awareness to achieve that goal, he said, by adding new breakfast offerings that include granola drinks and a “stuffed pocket,” building more stores in existing markets, the introduction of a ready-to-drink Jamba offering in local stores and a simpler menu.

If these growth goals are met, he said, there’s no reason the company can’t go global and hit 5,000 stores. “We want to build a highly-respected global brand,” Clayton said. “We think we have a strong platform on which to build, and think the market is ripe with opportunity.”

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