Business Finance
MRKT 5500 Starbucks Corporation Analytical Review

MRKT 5500

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Help me study for my Marketing class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.

Starbucks case study

completing a case analysis using the framework under the HBR cases tab (Marketing-Case-Study-Analysis)

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For the exclusive use of Y. Wang, 2020. MH0042 1 2 59927628 RE V: JA N UA RY 4, 2017 FRANK T. ROT H A E R M E L Starbucks Corporation January 2017. After sitting through another long executive meeting, Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz, now in his mid-60s, looked out the window to the beautiful Elliot Bay from the company’s headquarters in downtown Seattle. As he watched the setting sun glisten off the water, he contemplated his second and, he hoped, final retirement when stepping down as CEO in April 2017. Although he retains the chairman of the board position, Schultz promised himself and investors that he would not interfere in the day-to-day business. Starbucks’ new CEO is Kevin Johnson, who served as Schultz’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), and second in command. Indeed, Howard Schultz was looking forward to retiring from the day-to-day pressure of running a $21 billion global company. After Schultz first retired in 2000, Starbucks doubled its number of stores within a few years and implemented operational effectiveness measures to speed up customer service. At the same time, Starbucks’ perceived customer experience tanked and its stock market valuation dropped by 75 percent between 2006 and 2008: Starbucks was in a downward spiral. Subsequently, Schultz came out of retirement in 2008 and initiated a successful turnaround. His struggles are captured well in the title of his New York Times bestseller: “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul.”1 Since his return, Starbucks’ stock price has appreciated by over 400 percent. With more than 25,000 stores in 75 countries and $21 billion in annual revenues, Starbucks is the largest roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world.2 In recent years, its stock had outperformed the broader market index by a wide margin (Exhibit 1), delivering handsome returns to investors. Nonetheless, Howard Schultz couldn’t shake the nagging thought that he might be brought out of retirement yet again, should Starbucks’ not be able to tackle the current challenges without him. A Brief History of Starbucks The first Starbucks opened in 1971 in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, a popular tourist attraction. Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker, three friends from the University of San Francisco, learned the art of coffee roasting from Alfred Peet–founder of Peet’s Coffee and Tea.3 The three friends started Starbucks in order to sell freshly roasted coffee beans. They did not initially sell freshly brewed coffee, focusing exclusively on serving customers that demanded high quality coffee beans and equipment. The Starbucks founders bought out Alfred Peet to acquire Peet’s Coffee and sold Starbucks to Howard Schultz in 1987, with a five-year non-compete agreement in the Bay Area.4 Professor Frank T. Rothaermel prepared this case from public sources. He gratefully acknowledges Eric Erzinger and Tapa Sitaula for research assistance. This case is developed for the purpose of class discussion. This case is not intended to be used for any kind of endorsement, source of data, or depiction of efficient or inefficient management. All opinions expressed, and all errors and omissions, are entirely the author’s. © by Rothaermel 2017. This document is authorized for use only by YI Wang in mrkt5500 strategic Marketing taught by ALISTAIR WILLIAMS, Johnson & Wales University from Feb 2020 to Aug 2020. For the exclusive use of Y. Wang, 2020. Starbucks Corporation HOWARD SCHULTZ Howard Schultz was born in 1953 into a working-class family in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, Schultz witnessed his father struggle with low-paying jobs that did not offer health insurance.5 A talented athlete, Schultz played baseball, football, and basketball, eventually earning an athletic scholarship to Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 1975. Schultz briefly worked in sales for Xerox before becoming general manager for Hammarplast, a coffee equipment manufacturer that supplied Starbucks with coffee filters. Schultz first visited Starbucks in 1981 to learn why his client was using so many filters. Impressed by his visit, Schultz left Hammarplast a year later and joined Starbucks in 1982 as Director of Operations and Marketing, at a time when Starbucks had only four stores. In 1983, while on a business trip to Milan, Italy, Schultz was inspired by coffee bars that not only served high-quality espresso but also provided a vibrant daily social experience. The cafes served as a public gathering place for all facets of Italian society. Seeing similar potential for Starbucks in the United States to create a “third place” for social interactions between home and the office, Schultz convinced Starbucks owners to try selling espresso drinks in some stores. Schultz, however, was unable to motivate a company-wide rollout because the owners did not want Starbucks to expand into the restaurant industry. Frustrated by Starbucks’ founders’ lack of enthusiasm for his vision, Schultz resigned from Starbucks in 1986 to pursue his own venture, founding Il Giornale coffee stores. Schultz approached 242 individual and institutional investors to raise capital for Il Giornale, over 200 of whom rejected his pitch.6 In 1987, the original founders sold Starbucks for $3.8 million to Schultz, who rebranded his Il Giornale coffee bars with the Starbucks name. As CEO of the new Starbucks, Schultz immediately began to transform the company from a niche coffee bean roaster to the beverage retailer we know today. He rapidly expanded the company across the United States and North America, opening its first store abroad in Vancouver, Canada, in 1987.7 On June 26, 1992, Starbucks had its initial public offering (SBUX), with shares closing well above the opening price after its first day of trading, representing a market capitalization of nearly $46 million.8,9 Starbucks used its IPO funding to fuel domestic and international store growth (Exhibit 2), as well as a more diverse menu throughout the 1990s. Since its IPO, Starbucks has had six 2:1 stock splits, most recently in March 2015, and generated an annualized rate of some 24 percent in addition to dividend payouts that began in 2010.10 With the new millennium approaching in 2000, then 47-year-old Howard Schultz decided to retire. In a little more than a decade, Schultz had built the world’s most successful global chain of coffee stores that was earning the highest revenue, income, and profit margin in the company’s history.11 By 2008, Starbucks’ fortunes had turned. Between 2004 and 2008, Starbucks expanded operations rapidly by doubling the number of stores from 8,500 to almost 17,000 stores (Exhibit 2). It also focused on improved operational effectiveness in order to achieve faster customer service. Moreover, it branched out into sandwiches, ice cream, desserts, books, music, and other retail merchandise. Starbucks was hit hard by the 2008–2009 financial crisis when many customers could no longer afford to pay Starbucks’ premium prices. Although Starbucks’ revenue had grown from $2.2 billion in 2 This document is authorized for use only by YI Wang in mrkt5500 strategic Marketing taught by ALISTAIR WILLIAMS, Johnson & Wales University from Feb 2020 to Aug 2020. For the exclusive use of Y. Wang, 2020. Starbucks Corporation 2000 to $9.4 billion in 2007 and increased its pre-tax profit margin from 7.4 percent to 11.2 percent over the same period, Starbucks was more and more dependent on opening new stores to support the flagging profitability of its existing stores.12 With 17,000 stores already open in North America by 2007, it seemed that Starbucks was nearing saturation of existing markets. After an eight-year retirement, Howard Schultz returned as CEO in January 2008, attempting to re-create what had made Starbucks special. He immediately launched several strategic initiatives to turn the company around. Just a month after coming back, Schultz ordered more than 7,000 Starbucks stores across the United States to close for a day, so that baristas could learn the perfect way to prepare coffee. The company lost over $6 million in revenue on that one day. This loss exacerbated investor jitters, but Schultz felt that relearning how to create a unique Starbucks experience was key to bringing back its unique corporate culture. Howard Schultz takes pride in the accomplishment of introducing coffee shops to mainstream North American society. An important element of a Starbucks’s “third place” status is that each store is welcoming and comfortable.13 During his eight-year hiatus, Schultz felt that that Starbucks was losing its unique ambience and customer experience. In 2007, Schultz wrote a memo to Starbucks’ leadership bemoaning decisions that improved efficiency, economies of scale, and company growth at the cost of customer experience.14 Even though revenues for the company were still growing, the projected trend did not look positive: growth in overall revenue and same-store sales were much smaller than in the previous year. The company had grown to over 17,000 stores by 2008, but its stock price was falling (Exhibits 1 and 2). In 2008, Schultz presented a “transformation agenda” that included goals such as “ignite the emotional attachment with our customers,” “...[make] each store the heart of a local neighborhood,” “engage and inspire partners,” among others.15 These goals illustrate the emphasis that Schultz places on customer experience above the usual goals of leading the coffee industry, and becoming more innovative and more sustainable at the same time. As part of the turnaround strategy, in 2009, Starbucks introduced Via, its new instant coffee, a move that some worried might further dilute the brand. In 2010, Schultz rolled out new customer service guidelines: baristas would no longer multitask, making multiple drinks at the same time, but would instead focus on no more than two drinks at a time, starting a second one while finishing the first. Attempting to drive more store traffic other than the morning hours where customers need their daily caffeine shot, Starbucks continued to diversify its menu. To get more customers into its stores in the later afternoon and early evening—traditionally its slowest time of the day—Starbucks stores now offer items such as vegetables, flatbread pizza, plates of cheese, and desserts. It even introduced alcoholic beverages such wine and beer, available after 4:00 pm. Starbucks’ goal is to double its revenues from food over the next few years and also to be seen as an evening food-and-wine destination. To symbolize its transition from a traditional coffeehouse, Starbucks dropped the word “coffee” from its logo. Schultz also pushed the adoption of new technology to engage with customers more intimately and effectively. Starbucks now uses social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with customers more or less in real time. Starbucks’ highly successful loyalty program has over 10 million 3 This document is authorized for use only by YI Wang in mrkt5500 strategic Marketing taught by ALISTAIR WILLIAMS, Johnson & Wales University from Feb 2020 to Aug 2020. For the exclusive use of Y. Wang, 2020. Starbucks Corporation regular users. The latest tech innovation is a Starbucks app that allows customers to order and pay for drinks and food before reaching the store in order to pick up their order directly from the barista, allowing them to bypass standing in line. Nonexistent before 2011, some 21 percent of all Starbucks transactions in U.S. stores are now made through the Starbucks app.16 Social Responsibility and Activism Howard Schultz has been quite active as well as controversial on both political and social issues. He has criticized the lack of affordable health care, decried political leaders for not doing enough to stimulate the U.S. economy, and promoted social causes within and through Starbucks. In August 2015, Schultz wrote a New York Times op-ed that read, in part, “I’m not done serving at Starbucks...Although we have built an iconic brand while providing even part-time employees with access to health care, free college education and stock options, there is more we can do as a public company to demonstrate responsible leadership.”17 For many years, Starbucks has been in the forefront of advocating for social causes. In their own words, “Our focus is on ethically sourcing high-quality coffee, reducing our environmental impacts and contributing positively to communities around the world.”18 Under the leadership of Howard Schultz, Starbucks has supported numerous philanthropic and social causes, including same-sex marriage, gun control, racial, ethnic and income inequality, support for military veterans, and affordable access to healthcare and education. Schultz’s humble beginnings19 have been a factor in his decisions to use Starbucks to support low-income youth employment, provide health-care benefits and higher education to employees. In 2008, Starbucks partnered with (RED)—a licensed brand that collaborates with the private sector in raising awareness and funds to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa—and has since contributed over $13 million.20 In 2012, Starbucks joined a group of other corporations that publicly endorsed same-sex marriage in order to support the state of Washington’s proposed legislation recognizing same-sex marriages.21 At the annual shareholders meeting in 2013, Schultz explicitly rejected shareholder criticism of these social activist actions, saying, “You could sell your shares at Starbucks and buy shares in other companies.”22 In 2013, Schultz again put Starbucks in the middle of a national debate by asking Starbucks customers in the U.S. to stop bringing weapons inside Starbucks stores.23 The company previously had not taken a position on this issue and deferred to relevant state laws that regulate the open carry of weapons in public places. Starbucks’ policy came to a head in Newtown, Connecticut when a group of local gun-rights supporters participated in a national gun-owners “Starbucks Appreciation Day” in August, 2013 – nine months after the deadly school shooting at the town’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children ages six to seven, and six adults were killed. The Newtown Starbucks store closed five hours early in response to the event.24 The following month, Schultz wrote an open letter to Starbucks customers that cited Starbucks’ status as a “third place” in American society as a reason to keep guns away from its premises, stating, “The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.”25 In 2013, Starbucks committed to hire at least 10,000 military veterans and their spouses by 2018.26 In 2015, Schultz led Starbucks, Microsoft, Walmart, Lyft, and other corporations to jointly announce a commitment to hire 100,000 young African-Americans and Latinos from low-income communities by 4 This document is authorized for use only by YI Wang in mrkt5500 strategic Marketing taught by ALISTAIR WILLIAMS, Johnson & Wales University from Feb 2020 to Aug 2020. For the exclusive use of Y. Wang, 2020. Starbucks Corporation 2018.27 Additionally, Starbucks worked with community-development financial institutions to launch the Create Jobs for USA program, which collects donations from customers, employees, and others to increase available funds for community business lending.28 In 2014, Starbucks announced that it would pay the full tuition cost for its employees, called “partners,” to earn a bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University’s online programs.29 In early 2015, Starbucks encouraged its partners to engage with customers in conversations about racial issues. As part of the “Race Together” campaign, employees wrote #RaceTogether on customer’s coffee cups to initiate a conversation. Schultz said at the time, “we at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues in America...not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are.”30 The campaign was dropped in response to customer backlash, both in stores and on social media—customers did not want to engage in this type of conversation while getting their daily cup of coffee. Moreover, some argued that the baristas would not have the experience or training to handle such conversations.31 Starbucks in 2017 As of early 2017,32 Starbucks products are offered in over 25,000 company-operated and franchised stores as well as in other retail locations globally, including colleges and universities, offices, grocery and convenience stores, hotels, and airports.33 With stores in 75 countries,34 Starbucks is the largest roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. In addition to coffee, Starbucks products also include tea and other beverages, and a variety of fresh food items. Starbucks brands include Starbucks Coffee, Teavana®, Tazo®, Seattle’s Best Coffee®, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Ethos®. Starbucks employs approximately 254,000 people around the world. In the U.S., Starbucks employs 170,000 people with 162,000 working in company-operated stores and the remainder in support facilities, store development, and roasting, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution operations. Approximately 84,000 employees work outside of the U.S., with 81,000 in company-operated stores and the remainder in regional support operations.35 Starbucks is organized based on geography into four divisions: 1) Americas, comprised of the United States, Canada, and Latin America; 2) Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); 3) China/Asia Pacific (CAP) and 4) Channel Development. Channel Development includes roasted whole bean and ground coffees, premium Tazo® teas, Starbucks- and Tazo®-branded single-serve products, a variety of ready-to-drink beverages, such as Frappuccino® beverages, Starbucks Doubleshot® espresso drinks, Starbucks Refreshers® beverages, and other branded products sold worldwide through grocery stores, warehouse clubs, specialty retailers, convenience stores, and U.S. foodservice accounts. Starbucks also has non-reportable operating segments, including Teavana®, Seattle›s Best Coffee®, Evolution Fresh, and Digital Ventures, which are combined and referred to as All Other Segments. Revenues as a percentage of total net revenues for fiscal 2016 were as follows: Americas (69 percent), CAP (14 percent), EMEA (5 percent), Channel Development (9 percent) and All Other Segments (3 percent).36 Starbucks operates its own stores and also licenses stores to third-party operators. Licensees pay Starbucks license fees and a portion of all revenues generated by the store in exchange for use of the Starbucks brand name, Starbucks products, detailed store operating procedures, and Starbucks training classes that are similar to those provided to employees of company-owned stores. While Starbucks receives a lower portion of revenues from licensed stores, most operating costs are borne by 5 This document is authorized for use only by YI Wang in mrkt5500 strategic Marketing taught by ALISTAIR WILLIAMS, Johnson & Wales University from Feb 2020 to Aug 2020. For the exclusive use of Y. Wang, 2020. Starbucks Corporation the licensee, resulting in higher operating profit margins to Starbucks than are earned by companyoperated stores. In addition to the license fees and royalties, Starbucks also gains additional market access and retail space as well as local market data and expertise from licensees. In 2016, 79 percent of total net revenues were generated by company-operated stores and 10 percent were generated from licensed stores; see Exhibit 3 for key financial data over time.37 ...
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