Starbucks Case Study

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Starbucks Case Study Jason Smith University of Phoenix


Starbucks has been one of the leading companies in the coffee industry and in


business in general. Starbucks Corporation, founded in 1971, is a retailer of specialty coffee. Starbucks retails a variety of drip brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks, other hot and cold beverages, complementary food items, coffee-related accessories and equipment, teas, ice cream, and items such as mugs, coffee beans, and music and other non-food products through retail stores in approximately 39 countries worldwide. The company operates primarily in the US. It is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and employs about 150,000 people. Starbucks mission is “To inspire and nurture the human spirit— one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time” ( Top management believes in involvement in the activities of the corporation and employees enjoy unsurpassed benefits in the industry.

However, Starbucks has faced hard times the last few years. Store closures and

declining sales have put the company at a crossroads. The scope of this paper is to detail the problems that have put Starbucks in this position, offer an honest evaluation of the company in its current form, and to provide practical steps going forward to lead Starbucks back to prominence in the coffee industry. Major Problems

One of the major problems facing Starbucks is, as Company Founder Howard

Schultz called it, the “watering down of the Starbucks experience” (Schultz, 2007, para. 1). Starbucks established its brand as a relationship connection centered around luxury coffee. There was an intimacy that people felt with the company. Starbucks has now become so commercial that they have lost that connection with their customers. Schultz cites several business decisions that while perfectly good ideas on their own did not

Starbucks accomplish the intended...