kindly, i need your help to answer 4 questions is related to Business strategy course with taking into account 1- the writing of each question and answer and write in addition conclusion & recommendation 2- avoiding plagiarism Note :- taking consideration what must be done to resolve the case study
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CASE 11 Starbucks—Going Global Fast
The Starbucks coffee shop on Sixth Avenue and Pine Street in
downtown Seattle sits serene and orderly, as unremarkable as
any other in the chain bought years ago by entrepreneur Howard
Schultz. A few years ago however, the quiet storefront made front
pages around the world. During the World Trade Organization talks
in November 1999, protesters flooded Seattle’s streets, and among
their targets was Starbucks, a symbol, to them, of free-market capitalism run amok, another multinational out to blanket the earth.
Amid the crowds of protesters and riot police were black-masked
anarchists who trashed the store, leaving its windows smashed and
its tasteful green-and-white decor smelling of tear gas instead of
espresso. Says an angry Schultz: “It’s hurtful. I think people are
ill-informed. It’s very difficult to protest against a can of Coke, a
bottle of Pepsi, or a can of Folgers. Starbucks is both this ubiquitous brand and a place where you can go and break a window. You
can’t break a can of Coke.”
The store was quickly repaired, and the protesters scattered to
other cities. Yet cup by cup, Starbucks really is caffeinating the
world, its green-and-white emblem beckoning to consumers on
three continents. In 1999, Starbucks Corp. had 281 stores abroad.
Today, it has about 5,500—and it’s still in the early stages of a
plan to colonize the globe. If the protesters were wrong in their
tactics, they weren’t wrong about Starbucks’ ambitions. They
were just early.
The story of how Schultz & Co. transformed a pedestrian commodity into an upscale consumer accessory has a fairy-tale quality. Starbucks grew from 17 coffee shops in Seattle 15 years ago to
over 16,000 outlets in 50 countries. Sales have climbed an average
of 20 percent annually since the company went public, peaking at
$10.4 billion in 2008 before falling to $9.8 billion in 2009. Profits
bounded ahead an average of 30 percent per year through 2007
peaking at $673, then dropping to $582 billion and $494 billion in
2008 and 2009, respectively. The firm closed 475 stores in the U.S.
in 2009 to reduce costs.
Still, the Starbucks name and image connect with millions of
consumers around the globe. Up until recently, it was one of the
fastest-growing brands in annual BusinessWeek surveys of the top
100 global brands. On Wall Street, Starbucks was one of the last
great growth stories. Its stock, including four splits, soared more
than 2,200 percent over a decade, surpassing Walmart, General
Electric, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and IBM in total returns.
In 2006 the stock price peaked at over $40, but now has declined
to $4.
Schultz’s team is hard-pressed to grind out new profits in a
home market that is quickly becoming saturated. Amazingly,
with over 10,000 stores scattered across the United States and
Canada, there are still eight states in the United States with no
Starbucks stores. Frappuccino-free cities include Butte, Montana, and Fargo, North Dakota. But big cities, affluent suburbs,
and shopping malls are full to the brim. In coffee-crazed Seattle,
there is a Starbucks outlet for every 9,400 people, and the company considers that the upper limit of coffee-shop saturation. In
Manhattan’s 24 square miles, Starbucks has 124 cafés, with more
on the way. That’s one for every 12,000 people—meaning that
cat2994X_case1_001-017.indd 2
there could be room for even more stores. Given such concentration, it is likely to take annual same-store sales increases of
10 percent or more if the company is going to match its historic
overall sales growth. That, as they might say at Starbucks, is a tall
order to fill.
Indeed, the crowding of so many stores so close together has
become a national joke, eliciting quips such as this headline in The
Onion, a satirical publication: “A New Starbucks Opens in Restroom of Existing Starbucks.” And even the company admits that
while its practice of blanketing an area with stores helps achieve
market dominance, it can cut sales at existing outlets. “We probably self-cannibalize our stores at a rate of 30 percent a year,”
Schultz says. Adds Lehman Brothers Inc. analyst Mitchell Speiser:
“Starbucks is at a defining point in its growth. It’s reaching a level
that makes it harder and harder to grow, just due to the law of large
To duplicate the staggering returns of its first decade, Starbucks
has no choice but to export its concept aggressively. Indeed, some
analysts gave Starbucks only two years at most before it saturates
the U.S. market. The chain now operates 5,507 international outlets, from Beijing to Bristol. That leaves plenty of room to grow.
Most of its planned new stores will be built overseas, representing a 35 percent increase in its foreign base. Most recently, the
chain has opened stores in Vienna, Zurich, Madrid, Berlin, and
even in far-off Jakarta. Athens comes next. And within the next
year, Starbucks plans to move into Mexico and Puerto Rico. But
global expansion poses huge risks for Starbucks. For one thing, it
makes less money on each overseas store because most of them are
operated with local partners. While that makes it easier to start up
on foreign turf, it reduces the company’s share of the profits to only
20 percent to 50 percent.
Moreover, Starbucks must cope with some predictable challenges of becoming a mature company in the United States. After
riding the wave of successful baby boomers through the 1990s,
the company faces an ominously hostile reception from its future
consumers, the twenty- or thirty-somethings of Generation X. Not
only are the activists among them turned off by the power and
image of the well-known brand, but many others say that Starbucks’ latte-sipping sophisticates and piped-in Kenny G music are
a real turnoff. They don’t feel wanted in a place that sells designer
coffee at $3 a cup.
Even the thirst of loyalists for high-price coffee cannot be taken
for granted. Starbucks’ growth over the early part of the past decade coincided with a remarkable surge in the economy. Consumer
spending tanked in the downturn, and those $3 lattes were an easy
place for people on a budget to cut back.
Starbucks also faces slumping morale and employee burnout
among its store managers and its once-cheery army of baristas.
Stock options for part-timers in the restaurant business was a
Starbucks innovation that once commanded awe and respect
from its employees. But now, though employees are still paid
better than comparable workers elsewhere—about $7 per hour—
many regard the job as just another fast-food gig. Dissatisfaction over odd hours and low pay is affecting the quality of the
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Cases 1
An Overview
normally sterling service and even the coffee itself, say some
customers and employees. Frustrated store managers among the
company’s roughly 470 California stores sued Starbucks in 2001
for allegedly refusing to pay legally mandated overtime. Starbucks settled the suit for $18 million, shaving $0.03 per share
off an otherwise strong second quarter. However, the heart of the
complaint—feeling overworked and underappreciated—doesn’t
seem to be going away.
To be sure, Starbucks has a lot going for it as it confronts the
challenge of regaining its growth. Nearly free of debt, it fuels expansion with internal cash flow. And Starbucks can maintain a
tight grip on its image because stores are company-owned: There
are no franchisees to get sloppy about running things. By relying
on mystique and word of mouth, whether here or overseas, the
company saves a bundle on marketing costs. Starbucks spends just
$30 million annually on advertising, or roughly 1 percent of revenues, usually just for new flavors of coffee drinks in the summer
and product launches, such as its new in-store Web service. Most
consumer companies its size shell out upwards of $300 million
per year. Moreover, Starbucks for the first time faces competition
from large U.S. competitors such as McDonald’s and their new
Schultz remains the heart and soul of the operation. Raised in
a Brooklyn public-housing project, he found his way to Starbucks,
a tiny chain of Seattle coffee shops, as a marketing executive in
the early 1980s. The name came about when the original owners
looked to Seattle history for inspiration and chose the moniker of
an old mining camp: Starbo. Further refinement led to Starbucks,
after the first mate in Moby Dick, which they felt evoked the seafaring romance of the early coffee traders (hence the mermaid
logo). Schultz got the idea for the modern Starbucks format while
visiting a Milan coffee bar. He bought out his bosses in 1987 and
began expanding.
The company is still capable of designing and opening a
store in 16 weeks or less and recouping the initial investment
in three years. The stores may be oases of tranquility, but
management’s expansion tactics are something else. Take what
critics call its “predatory real estate” strategy—paying more than
market-rate rents to keep competitors out of a location. David C.
Schomer, owner of Espresso Vivace in Seattle’s hip Capitol
Hill neighborhood, says Starbucks approached his landlord and
offered to pay nearly double the rate to put a coffee shop in the
same building. The landlord stuck with Schomer, who says:
“It’s a little disconcerting to know that someone is willing to
pay twice the going rate.” Another time, Starbucks and Tully’s
Coffee Corp., a Seattle-based coffee chain, were competing
for a space in the city. Starbucks got the lease but vacated the
premises before the term was up. Still, rather than let Tully’s
get the space, Starbucks decided to pay the rent on the empty
store so its competitor could not move in. Schultz makes no
apologies for the hardball tactics. “The real estate business in
America is a very, very tough game,” he says. “It’s not for the
faint of heart.”
Still, the company’s strategy could backfire. Not only will
neighborhood activists and local businesses increasingly resent the
tactics, but customers could also grow annoyed over having fewer
choices. Moreover, analysts contend that Starbucks can maintain
about 15 percent square-footage growth in the United States—
equivalent to 550 new stores—for only about two more years.
After that, it will have to depend on overseas growth to maintain
an annual 20 percent revenue growth.
cat2994X_case1_001-017.indd 3
Starbucks was hoping to make up much of that growth with
more sales of food and other noncoffee items but has stumbled
somewhat. In the late 1990s, Schultz thought that offering $8 sandwiches, desserts, and CDs in his stores and selling packaged coffee in supermarkets would significantly boost sales. The specialty
business now accounts for about 16 percent of sales, but growth
has been less than expected.
What’s more important for the bottom line, though, is that Starbucks has proven to be highly innovative in the way it sells its
main course: coffee. In 800 locations it has installed automatic
espresso machines to speed up service. And several years ago, it
began offering prepaid Starbucks cards, priced from $5 to $500,
which clerks swipe through a reader to deduct a sale. That, says
the company, cuts transaction times in half. Starbucks has sold
$70 million of the cards.
When Starbucks launched Starbucks Express, its boldest experiment yet, it blended java, Web technology, and faster service.
At about 60 stores in the Denver area, customers can pre-order
and prepay for beverages and pastries via phone or on the Starbucks Express Web site. They just make the call or click the
mouse before arriving at the store, and their beverage will be
waiting—with their name printed on the cup. The company decided in 2003 that the innovation had not succeeded and eliminated the service.
And Starbucks continues to try other fundamental store
changes. It announced expansion of a high-speed wireless Internet service to about 1,200 Starbucks locations in North America
and Europe. Partners in the project—which Starbucks calls the
world’s largest Wi-Fi network—include Mobile International, a
wireless subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, and Hewlett-Packard.
Customers sit in a store and check e-mail, surf the Web, or download multimedia presentations without looking for connections
or tripping over cords. They start with 24 hours of free wireless
broadband before choosing from a variety of monthly subscription plans.
Starbucks executives hope such innovations will help surmount
their toughest challenge in the home market: attracting the next
generation of customers. Younger coffee drinkers already feel uncomfortable in the stores. The company knows that because it once
had a group of twentysomethings hypnotized for a market study.
When their defenses were down, out came the bad news. “They either can’t afford to buy coffee at Starbucks, or the only peers they
see are those working behind the counter,” says Mark Barden, who
conducted the research for the Hal Riney & Partners ad agency
(now part of Publicis Worldwide) in San Francisco. One of the recurring themes the hypnosis brought out was a sense that “people
like me aren’t welcome here except to serve the yuppies,” he says.
Then there are those who just find the whole Starbucks scene a bit
pretentious. Katie Kelleher, 22, a Chicago paralegal, is put off by
Starbucks’ Italian terminology of grande and venti for coffee sizes.
She goes to Dunkin’ Donuts, saying: “Small, medium, and large is
fine for me.”
As it expands, Starbucks faces another big risk: that of becoming a far less special place for its employees. For a company modeled around enthusiastic service, that could have dire
consequences for both image and sales. During its growth spurt
of the mid- to late-1990s, Starbucks had the lowest employee
turnover rate of any restaurant or fast-food company, largely
thanks to its then unheard-of policy of giving health insurance
and modest stock options to part-timers making barely more
than minimum wage.
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Part 6
Supplementary Material
Such perks are no longer enough to keep all the workers
happy. Starbucks’ pay doesn’t come close to matching the workload it requires, complain some staff. Says Carrie Shay, a former
store manager in West Hollywood, California: “If I were making
a decent living, I’d still be there.” Shay, one of the plaintiffs in
the suit against the company, says she earned $32,000 a year to
run a store with 10 to 15 part-time employees. She hired employees, managed their schedules, and monitored the store’s weekly
profit-and-loss statement. But she was also expected to put in
significant time behind the counter and had to sign an affidavit pledging to work up to 20 hours of overtime a week without
extra pay—a requirement the company has dropped since the
For sure, employee discontent is far from the image Starbucks
wants to project of relaxed workers cheerfully making cappuccinos. But perhaps it is inevitable. The business model calls for
lots of low-wage workers. And the more people who are hired as
Starbucks expands, the less they are apt to feel connected to the
original mission of high service—bantering with customers and
treating them like family. Robert J. Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University, says of Starbucks: “It’s turning
out to be one of the great 21st century American success stories—
complete with all the ambiguities.”
Overseas, though, the whole Starbucks package seems new
and, to many young people, still very cool. In Vienna, where
Starbucks had a gala opening for its first Austrian store, Helmut
Spudich, a business editor for the paper Der Standard, predicted
that Starbucks would attract a younger crowd than the established
cafés. “The coffeehouses in Vienna are nice, but they are old. Starbucks is considered hip,” he says.
But if Starbucks can count on its youth appeal to win a welcome in new markets, such enthusiasm cannot be counted on
indefinitely. In Japan, the company beat even its own bullish expectations, growing to 875 stores after opening its first in Tokyo in
1996. Affluent young Japanese women like Anna Kato, a 22-yearold Toyota Motor Corp. worker, loved the place. “I don’t care if
it costs more, as long as it tastes sweet,” she says, sitting in the
world’s busiest Starbucks, in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Yet samestore sales growth has fallen in Japan, Starbucks’ top foreign market, as rivals offer similar fare. Meanwhile in England, Starbucks’
second-biggest overseas market, with over 400 stores, imitators
are popping up left and right to steal market share.
Entering other big markets may be tougher yet. The French
seem to be ready for Starbucks’ sweeter taste, says Philippe Bloch,
cofounder of Columbus Cafe, a Starbucks-like chain. But he wonders if the company can profitably cope with France’s arcane regulations and generous labor benefits. And in Italy, the epicenter of
European coffee culture, the notion that the locals will abandon
their own 200,000 coffee bars en masse for Starbucks strikes many
as ludicrous. For one, Italian coffee bars prosper by serving food
as well as coffee, an area where Starbucks still struggles. Also,
Italian coffee is cheaper than U.S. java and, say Italian purists,
much better. Americans pay about $1.50 for an espresso. In northern Italy, the price is 67 cents; in the south, just 55 cents. Schultz
insists that Starbucks will eventually come to Italy. It’ll have a lot
to prove when it does. Carlo Petrini, founder of the antiglobalization movement Slow Food, sniffs that Starbucks’ “substances
served in styrofoam” won’t cut it. The cups are paper, of course.
But the skepticism is real.
As Starbucks spreads out, Schultz will have to be increasingly sensitive to those cultural challenges. For instance, he flew
cat2994X_case1_001-017.indd 4
to Israel several years ago to meet with then Foreign Secretary
Shimon Peres and other Israeli officials to discuss the Middle
East crisis. He won’t divulge the nature of his discussions. But
subsequently, at a Seattle synagogue, Schultz let the Palestinians have it. With Starbucks outlets already in Kuwait, Lebanon,
Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, he created a mild uproar among
Palestinian supporters. Schultz quickly backpedaled, saying that
his words were taken out of context and asserting that he is “propeace” for both sides.
There are plenty more minefields ahead. So far, the Seattle coffee company has compiled an envious record of growth. But the
giddy buzz of that initial expansion is wearing off. Now, Starbucks
is waking up to the grande challenges faced by any corporation
bent on becoming a global powerhouse.
In a 2005 bid to boost sales in its largest international market,
Starbucks Corp. expanded its business in Japan, beyond cafés and
into convenience stores, with a line of chilled coffee in plastic
cups. The move gives the Seattle-based company a chance to grab
a chunk of Japan’s $10 billion market for coffee sold in cans, bottles, or vending machines rather than made-to-order at cafés. It is
a lucrative but fiercely competitive sector, but Starbucks, which
has become a household name since opening its first Japanese
store, is betting on the power of its brand to propel sales of the
new drinks.
Starbucks is working with Japanese beverage maker and distributor Suntory Ltd. The “Discoveries” and “Doubleshot” lines
are the company’s first forays into the ready-to-drink market outside North America, where it sells a line of bottled and canned
coffee. It also underscores Starbucks’ determination to expand its
presence in Asia by catering to local tastes. For instance, the new
product comes in two variations—espresso and latte—that are less
sweet than their U.S. counterparts, as the coffee maker developed
them to suit Asian palates …
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