Schultz Ponders POTUS Run

In the cacophony of candidate announcements of exploratory committees, fundraising initiatives, and ‘test-the-waters’ visits to New Hampshire and Iowa, perhaps none is generating as much response as speculation about a Howard Schultz independent campaign. The former Starbucks CEO confirmed this week that he is considering launching an independent campaign for the White House that has…

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Competitor News

Starbucks reported strong Q1 earnings yesterday and advised that global comparable store sales were up 4.0% during the quarter with ticket/pricing adding 3 points to growth. Americas SSS were reported at +4% vs. a projected 3.2%. Globally, the company claimed 541 net stores during Q1 accounting for a 7% growth year over year to a…

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Competitor News

Starbucks announced this week that it was changing course relative to its upscale Reserve Roasteries and Reserve coffee bars, redirecting its focus on traditional outlets. Under former CEO Howard Schultz, the company had planned to open as many as 1,000 new Reserve coffee bars, but current CEO Kevin Johnson has scrubbed those plans for the…

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Competitor News

Speaking of Starbucks, the company held its investor conference this week and clearly struck a confident tone, with major international growth planned especially in China (projecting 6,000 stores across 250 cities) and a domestic focus on growth in the Midwest. The company also announced a new partnership arrangement with Uber Eats in order to expand…

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Idle Hands, Indeed!

Back in June of this year when he stepped down as CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz responded to rumors that he was planning a run for the White House by simply stating he intended “to think about a range of options, and that could include public service. But I’m a long way from making any…

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Competitor News

Coming just a week plus after announcement of its Q4 earnings (Global SSS +3%, US +4%), Starbucks laid off as many as 350 corporate employees, approximately 5% of its total corporate workforce. The company’s progressive corporate reputation notwithstanding, one employee complained about the one hour notice she received to turn in all company equipment and…

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Miscellaneous

Starbucks (SBUX) was finally able to post an improved showing in Q4 results announced Thursday, with US same store sales up plus 4%, ticket up plus 5% and traffic only minus 1%. However, analysts were wary of them attaining their long term 3-5% comps guidance. Starbucks began its Christmas season in store retail and digital…

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Competitor News

Starbucks announced earlier this week that it had opened its first deaf-friendly store in the US in Washington DC. The store, located near Gallaudet University at 6th and H Streets, employs between 20 and 25 deaf or hard of hearing workers, each of whom is proficient in American Sign Language (ASL). McDonalds also reported earnings…

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Competitor News

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals officially revived a case regarding a Starbucks corporate policy that requires an employee to clock out before uploading data about employees’ hours, sales, and other information. The federal case follows a separate state Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that determined that Starbucks must pay workers for the off-the-clock…

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Coffee Cancer Case Percolating Again

For the past couple of months, the hope existed that litigation pending in a Los Angeles Superior Court would ultimately be dismissed after the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recommended coffee retailers be exempted from California Proposition 65 requirements to include a cancer warning on coffee. Public comments included an endorsement of…

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