Posted by Dale Buss on December 5, 2013 02:43 PM
This year, the $50 extra you might be lucky enough to pay for a Starbucks Limited Edition Metal Card will make your gift five times as exclusive as last year. Or, put another way, Starbucks is issuing only 1,000 of the $450 metal gift cards preloaded with $400 in value this year, whereas last year it made 5,000 of them.
The offer is available only on the luxury-goods flash-sale website Gilt.com on Friday at 12 noon ET, and last year the 5,000 designer cards sold out in six minutes, USA Today observed. Any bets on how long it'll take to sell out a mere one-fifth of last year's card volume?
"Will it be one minute or two?" Cliff Burrows, Starbucks group president, mused to the newspaper. People used to poising over their smartphones or keyboards to win an eBay auction will have to be extra caffeinated—maybe by a Starbucks—to win a card.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 25, 2013 11:21 AM
Following its approximately $620 million acquisition last November, Starbucks has opened its first cafe-style Teavana location on Madison Avenue in New York City, betting that the 300-store strong specialty-tea retailer will give the coffee giant a large cut of the $90 billion global tea market.
With tea being the second most-consumed drink after water, Starbucks plans to open at least 1,000 Teavana bars (which differ from retail Teavana shops currently found in shopping malls) in North America in the next five years, as well as expand rapidly worldwide, with an eye first on tea-loving Asia.
“Tea has been a part of Starbucks heritage since 1971, when we were founded as Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spices," Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz (who attended the NYC Teavana opening this week, below) commented in a press release, "and this new store concept elevates the tea experience in the same way we’ve done for coffee.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2013 08:04 PM
Panera may be getting caught in a strange sort of pincers: It now offers too many menu items for its staff to serve efficiently. But its biggest new competition may be coming from Starbucks that wants to emulate Panera by greatly expanding its own menu.
For now, the bigger problem for the St. Louis-based chain is what to do about comparable-store sales that rose by only 1.7 percent during the third quarter, short of the company's expectations. Overall revenues grew by 8 percent, but CEO Ron Shaich predicted flattened sales in the fourth quarter.
Shaich identified the comp-sales problem in part as stemming from "operational friction, including capacity and throughput constraints." Translation: Panera outlets tend to have either too many menu items, or they're too complex, or there aren't enough staffers to handle the demands of preparing the food as well as the customer flow. Or all of the above.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2013 06:27 PM
"Pay It Forward," meet "Open It Back Up." Starbucks—which rarely misses a zeitgeist-related marketing ploy—is offering a free tall cup of coffee to any patron who buys a drink for another customer, in what CEO Howard Schultz somehow intends to translate into a moral example for those responsible for the federal government curtailment in Washington, D.C.
Schultz previously has tilted at budget-deficit gridlock in Washington and spoke out in support of gay marriage in various ways associated with the iconic brand. This time, he said, Starbucks aims to push citizens to "support and connect with one another, even as we wait for our elected officials to do the same for our country." No word on why he believes that Americans haven't already been supporting and connecting with one another.
Anyway, such exhortations are just one way that Schultz has been moving Starbucks way beyond its original java base since he shored the chain up a few years ago.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 24, 2013 01:52 PM
Once mundane, the suddenly sexy US yogurt business is attracting more big players that used to have nothing to do with the formerly sleepy category. The latest: Starbucks, which has formed a strategic partnership with Groupe Danone to market a new, exclusive line of Greek-style yogurt parfaits in Starbucks stores and grocery channels.
PepsiCo was the latest big non-yogurt brand to jump into a category that has become thorougly energized lately by the success of Greek yogurts, led by startup Chobani. PepsiCo hooked up with Germany's Muller brand to introduce a new US line this year.
For Starbucks, the leap into yogurt with the Paris-based parent of Dannon USA represents just the latest broadening of its product lines and distribution channels, which also have included picking up a baked-goods brand, Le Boulange, and tea-based interests such as the Teavana chain.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2013 02:41 PM
Starbucks is increasingly looking like a brand that wants every share of stomach it can get from every day part, not just coffee and tea drinkers in the morning and evening. The tendency toward dominance presumably is behind its latest gambit: quietly testing "handcrafted" soft-drink products in some stores in the Atlanta and Austin markets.
The fizzy spiced root beer, ginger ale and a lemon ale are made by baristas with special carbonation machines and are sold at premium Starbucks prices. In some Atlanta locations, for instance, a tall goes for $2.45 while the venti fetches $3.45, USA Today reported.
Starbucks, of course, has spent much of the last few years not only rebuilding its network of outlets but also stocking them with more and more types of beverages and foods that comprise an increasingly broad appeal to US consumers outside of the brand's traditional positioning.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on June 20, 2013 05:31 PM
It's probably no accident that Starbucks plans to put up menu boards with calorie counts nationwide beginning Tuesday and that its executives also are talking about adding more food items. If you're going to expand the items and information on the menu boards, why not do it all at once?
Starbucks would like to increase its US sales by making food a bigger attraction, particularly in the afternoon and evening hours when customers already have gotten their caffeine fix for the day and don't have as much time to lounge around as in other day parts.
About one-third of Starbucks purchases in its domestic market already include some item of pastry, a sandwich or other food item, and they account for 19 percent of overall sales. That portion has risen significantly already in the last few years.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 19, 2013 04:19 PM
Coffee and makeup don't generally mix, but when it comes to selling either globally, similar skills are apparently needed. Coffee giant Starbucks has plucked its new Global CMO from Sephora in Sharon Rothstein, who was SVP of marketing for the will join the company in mid-April and won’t just be overseeing the marketing efforts of Starbucks, but also the company’s other brands, such as Seattle's Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange, Tazo and Teavana, Motley Fool reports.
Rothstein, who will be replaced at Sephora by former report Julie Bornstein (promoted from SVP of digital to chief marketing and digital officer), has worked with a plethora of big brands including Godiva, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and P&G, so she knows a thing or two about customer experience and brings those Sephora-honed digital chops.
“I have been a loyal Starbucks customer and fan for most of my adult life and I am humbled to become a partner (employee) at one of the few companies in the world that embraces the value and responsibility of balancing business performance and social impact,” she said in a press release. Rothstein will also oversee the company's Seattle's Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange, Tazo and Teavana brands.
The social conscience side of Starbucks also gets a boost from another big announcement this week: that it's buying its first coffee farm, a 600-acre spread in Costa Rica that will serve as the company's first global agronomy center and the center of its $70 million ethical sourcing program.Continue reading...