Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Starbucks' New Direction

According to the Grub Street page on New York magazine's website:

Look for price drops and better smells at Starbucks after today's annual meeting. The stuttering chain is losing sales to McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts, and former CEO Howard Schultz has returned to lead Starbucks to ubiquitous glory once again.

The meeting's not until this afternoon, but the company has already made a few announcements and Wall Street analysts (have) their own predictions.

Expect a customer-loyalty program offering price breaks or free drinks, cheaper drip coffee (which now represents only 12 percent of sales), freshly ground beans, dropping hot foods that mask the coffee smell, and fewer stores to open across the street from each other.
Perhaps Starbucks could improve its profit picture by increasing revenue from non-coffee purchases. I virtually never buy any of the food items sold at Starbucks, and I rarely see anyone else buying 'em. It's no wonder -- the food choices there are bland and unappetizing. They all just look so pathetic.

Most of the muffins and other baked goods inside their glass case look like artifacts from an archaeological dig. Who knows where the hell they were actually baked? I'll bet they could really hurt you if they were thrown hard in your direction.

Last year, Starbucks introduced blueberry and raspberry scones, and the best I can say for these scones is that they are edible. Barely.

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