Thursday, March 20, 2008

Starbucks Unveils Plans for Turnaround

For all this talk about how bad Starbucks is doing you wouldn't know it from the stores I visit. The line at the one on York Road in Lutherville is almost always 5-10 people deep and even the smaller, strip mall location across from Towson Town Center always seems to be hopping.

Maybe us Baltimore County folk just loves us some coffee drinks, because Starbucks as a whole isn't doing quite as well. Their stock price has dropped 40 percent in the last 12 months and in the most recent quarter established stores had the first sales drop in the company's history.

With those figures in mind, analysts were eager to hear CEO Howard Schultz's plan to turn things around. Apparently, shorter coffee machines (so we can see the pissed off baristas working behind them), customer rewards programs and a new coffee blend wasn't what they had in mind as shares tumbled another four percent after the news.

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