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Starbucks, the ubiquitous purveyor of caffeinated beverages, is the world's leading specialty coffee retailer.
As former Barista and current Shareholder, I am grateful for the return of Schultz. He saw his company slipping, and made the right move in coming to its rescue. So far, it seems he is making all the right moves in correcting issues--closing underperforming stores, slowing domestic growth to stop the cannibalization of store sales, focusing on international expansion, and re-focusing on the customer experience.His move today is particularly brilliant. What better way to show your dedication and commitment to your customers--and desire for perfection in every cup of coffee--than requiring every single barista to spend 3 hours being re-trained? I learned from a current Barista that if you don't attend today's training, you can't work on the espresso bar. This is a bold move...and the right one. Schultz has the right long-term perspective and knows what needs to happen in Starbucks. As long as he sticks around, I'm going to keep my stock and keep this at an outperform.
I am not sure how long you were a barista. I am a current one and have been with company for over 6 1/2 years. Howard claimed "we had slipped in mediocrity". That finger was being pointed at the folks on the store level. Remember when Starbucks closed ALL of its national stores for "retraining"? Let's get the facts straight. Howard sold 12 million dollars worth of his options for a 8 million dollar profit (stock was at 63 dollars a share). Howard and Orin Smith (Howard's right hand) told the stockholders that they weren't going to split the stock at $54 a share. The stock dropped $5 that one day. This mediocrity that Starbucks has slipped into was not the shareholders or the partners (store managers, shifts, or baristas) fault. We have become McBucks and there is a Starbucks on every corner. This squarely the fault of Howard Shultz and his management team. They fired Jim McDonald to make him a scapegoat for failing profits and shareholders' losses.To put it simply, the stock has lost more than $2 since 4/16/08.
I am a shareholder too,but I love the taste of coffee so that leaves Starbucks out of the loop.
I agree. Starbucks coffee is awful. Over roasted often burned. If you mention a cappuccino they freak out and Heaven forbid you try to order a "small" instead of "tall." CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE? The only thing SBUX is interested in is indoctrinating us all into their hippie green save the world communist culture. BLAH!!!!!...Now they have to contend with McDonald's, a shining example of capitalist progress, which, by the way, has outstanding coffee at a reasonable price. Oh yeah, and they call a small a small!D
I still wish Schultz had not sold the Sonics however.
Many times a company's ability to weather the storm or stage a return to profitability starts with who is at the helm. The change at the top of McDonald's is a good example and Starbucks will be another example.
Look, starbucks is not green, and McDonalds is not a shining example of capitalist progress. They are a shining example of factory farming and rainforest destruction to create the cheapest & lowest quality beef possible that is killing America one heart attack at a time. I'm all for progress but I'm also for doing what is right.And starbucks sells organic coffee and organic milk, that is how far they go as far as being green. Their coffee is not fairly traded and I am sure they underpay foreign coffee farmers and rip them off just as badly as McDonalds. I might be bearish on Starbucks right now, but I think you've got the ethics of these 2 companies very confused.
Actually, I might not be so bearish on Starbucks. I think $11 Billion is a modest market cap for them right now. And while their competitive business advantage is being attacked from every possible angle, I still think they provide the best selection in coffee drinks. You can only get maybe a couple kinds of coffee @ McDonalds, but they are a ton of choices @ Starbucks. They have the coffee niche, McDonalds might put a dent in their business but people will never think of McDonalds when they think of coffee. McDonalds is not a cafe or a coffee house and they won't become one anytime soon. Plus their environment is different. Nobody wants to hang out at a McDonalds, but its a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere at Starbucks, people want to go there for the experience they create. Plus Free WiFi is coming this summer.
Coffee in McDonalds and Dunkin taste eeewwk - its like instant coffee to me. Whereas coffees in Starbucks (or seattle's best, or any 'pure' coffee houses) are superb. There's actually no comparison taste-wise.
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