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July 02, 2008

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hearbutloud

None in Colorado closing of the first 50. I hear for the Western Mountain Region only some Vegas-area stores are closing.

I don't mind the questioning from customers - they all seemed worried they would lose their store, not rude or demeaning in any way. We assured them that our store wasn't going anywhere - we are that confident.

rawrbaristaLinds

Does anybody know about the Northern VA Region? I know we had a few new stores open in our area that are quite a joke considering they do almost 25 people halves during blackout for 2hrs. Our area is SO over-saturated there literally is an sbux in every plaza. PLEASE let me know if you know anything. Sbux is paying my way through college..

Huda Hudia

RH

Where did you find another job? It may be time to jump off the sinking ship and work for an appreciative company that pays well.

Jamie

Who knew that it was so easy to snow people about them being important to a company? Listen, NOBODY is important to a company, except for its shareholders. Theirs are the only voices who count. But I guess your willingness to sell yourself short is part of why you work for $8.50 an hour.

Commited Coffee Master

How come I get more information from this site than from my actual workplace!?!

While yes, it does get sooo annoying that the customers are like about to crap their pants in terror they may not get a latte two blocks away from their home its also kinda endearing!

I'm glad that a customer is sad that I may not be their barista tomorrow.

And as for all those silly kids who are jumping ship and talking about what a train wreck Starbucks is... .BYE =-)

I love my job. I love working with people who see Starbucks as more than a job but a place to connect. And if you don't... I promise you, that you can go in the back and look in the file cabinet and find about 60 applications of people willing to replace you.

sbuxnewbie

Every customer who asked today wanted to know what they could do to ensure my store wouldn't close. (That's like 50% of the cafe, and 80% or the DT customers).

My DM was in house, working on his computer when a couple of the folks asked, so I pointed them to him. He, and they, were more than happy to have the discussion.

My DM has not (as of Noon today) been notified of any of his stores closing. There are 6 in the district, with a seventh scheduled to open in October. he has been assured that that store is still on track to open.

I've already had 3 other managers ask me to come to their stores, should mine close. I think two of them are in more danger of closing than mine is.

sbuxnewbie

Every customer who asked today wanted to know what they could do to ensure my store wouldn't close. (That's like 50% of the cafe, and 80% or the DT customers).

My DM was in house, working on his computer when a couple of the folks asked, so I pointed them to him. He, and they, were more than happy to have the discussion.

My DM has not (as of Noon today) been notified of any of his stores closing. There are 6 in the district, with a seventh scheduled to open in October. he has been assured that that store is still on track to open.

I've already had 3 other managers ask me to come to their stores, should mine close. I think two of them are in more danger of closing than mine is.

truth

Yep. Someone else bought 1.5 million shares at $15.68 at 4:55. This is how it works, people.

The investors put a gun to the head of mgmt, then mgmt makes cuts, and the investors buy up.

They are drinking your milkshake.

Torontodude

I've been posting about Starbucks on a (non-coffee) mailing list. What follows is a sad, but true, response. It's from a woman who has given up on Starbucks -- without ever experiencing the "real thing."

If this reaction is typical, SBUX has big problems.


"....I guess the Starbucks coffee opportunities in Toronto must be greatly superior to those here on the Front Range in Colorado. Both of my local grocery stores have Starbucks coffee bars, and the baristas, while pleasant and reasonably obliging, don't strike me as having any particular knowledge about coffee. I doubt they would have a French press if I asked for one and all that is on brew are the coffees of the day. It is not a memorable coffee experience, and I've pretty much given up patronizing them. There is also a Starbucks storefront on the third corner at the intersection (that's right...3 of them at that intersection). I haven't tried it, but I don't anticipate much difference. "

Baristard

First 50 stores to be closed will be contacted by a member of "Starbucks Leadership" by end of business today (7/2) with the bad news.

Severance payment for Barista's will be equal to 2 weeks of pay, with larger payments (i.e. 4 weeks worth of pay or possibly more) to be given to Shift Supervisors, ASM's, and SM's.

zoom

I have to laugh at your post, stillhereandhappy. Those of us who made the decision to leave starbucks after a lengthy tenure did so because of the direction the Company was heading beginning in late 2005. This is especially true for anyone at the mgr level and above. You combine that with questionable leadership, very questionable decisions, and lack of loyalty to partners, and its easy why leaving is more attractive to staying.

I left in April after 10yrs, and while I miss my peers, partners, and guests, I am 100% positive that I made the right decision. It was the most difficult decision that I made, and I don't regret it for one moment.

NEED TO KNOW

TRUTH:

I am very interested in what you have to say, could you please elaborate more and if we are bought by another company wouldn't that benefit the shareholders.

WhatToDo?

Zoom, that brings up a great question, what do Sbux Partners do after leaving Sbux?

Blindsided

My manager just called me, said we're having a store meeting tomorrow morning, didn't say what about.

This does not bode well. Anyone else having a store meeting tomorrow?

Julia

What do Starbucks partners do after leaving Starbucks??? Start their lives hopefully! I have been a barista at Starbucks on and off for ten years. In that time, I have seen dozens of promising talents get sucked into the Starbucks culture because they think its a way to bypass college and still make their fortunes. In my current store we have three high school students who just graduated who could have gone to wonderful colleges and recieved a grade-A education, but they were tempted by the $2 an hour to become shifts and decided they would just do "night college" at the local CC. I am taking bets now to see how many ever step foot onto a college campus. The Starbucks business model relys on people to feel a die-hard loyalty and never move on to bigger and better things. Hopefully for some of those 12,000 let go, this will be the push they need.

jj

Blindsided... doesn't sound good.... but on the back portal there are talking points, and all, if you have a high volume store, you might have the non coverage for a meeting about it (the press release), but I don't know. If I were you, I would call my mgr back and ask if the store is closing.

Darleen

Blindsided,
JJ may be right. Your SM may just want to have a meeting to make sure that all of the partners understand what is happening within the company. No use stressing yourself out about it all night and losing sleep. It may not be that your store is closing. I hope everything is okay, let us know tomorrow.

Ken

Torontodude
I think that is probably the case for most people at Starbucks. Its no longer "the" coffee shop, it’s hardly even A coffee shop anymore. My older brother owns a small, but very successful coffee shop. When hiring a new employee, he looks at someone that has worked at Starbucks as having retail experience, but no real "coffee shop" experience. They have little or no real coffee knowledge, and have to be almost completely retrained on how to pull shots. He said he would take someone that has worked at McDonalds for a year, just as quickly as he would take someone with 1 year of Starbucks under their belt. Sad maybe, but that is what Starbucks has become, and it isn't just him, almost all of the small shop owners in his area feel the same way. He did say, the one thing that ex-Starbucks employee's bring with them to his shop, is a pretty big superiority complex, and that’s about all.

truth

needtoknow-- When the majority of shares are held by a few investors/institutions, it's not really a matter of 'buying out'. It's much simpler than that.

All it takes is a few of the institutions (usually mutual and hedge funds) to get together and call mgmt and tell them either to start making changes or else they are gonna take over via a proxy fight (see Yahoo).

I think this has already happened. I don't see a 'buyout' happening. They don't need to do that. Hence, the shares are 'dead money', unless they rise organically over a long time.

gone

Starbucks started to fall apart about the time they came up with the Green Apron book and "behaviors". How about that?

truth

When the Sonics case is announced in Seattle in the next hour, Howard Schultz will be the most hated man in the city.

Even though this blog has consistently downplayed the importance, this week will be a watershed in the history of the company.

Howard Schultz will NEVER be forgiven for selling the basketball team. NEVER.

Brandon Fettig

Got that dreaded call 10 mins ago...

casey

I think Sbux is only think of the monetary component of this, not in terms of its human assets--losing that many partners with this much experience is devastating to Sbux--but I guess they only see in the short-run not in the long-run. Does anyone know about closing store in Missouri, or Misery as I like to call it....

watery tart

@ Torontodude said:
If this reaction is typical, SBUX has big problems.

I have family on the Front Range (Colorado Springs), and the worst service I ever got in a restaurant period was in a local Starbucks. I refuse to go to any SB when we are there. We didn't even find the workers "pleasant and reasonably obliging", but rude and less interested in their customers than they were in chatting with each other. And one of the stores was just plain *dirty*.
Part of the issue is that there are at least five local stores/mini-chains locally (Pikes Perk, Montegues Parlour, Boulder Street Coffee Roasters, Agia Sophia, and The Mate Factor) there that serve awesome coffee, pastries, cakes, and teas. As a result, all of them have been packed every time we've gone.
If Starbucks wants to flourish in that area, they need to clean up their image, their stores, and their employees.

ncbarista

from bloomberg:

Florida and California are among the states most affected, Starbucks spokeswoman Valerie O'Neil said in an interview, though the company didn't specify which stores would be shut

just a little fyi to whoever said that no florida stores would be closed.

schizel

sorry brandon. where abouts are you?

coffeemaster for life

I was a store manager for Starbucks for over 5 years.I left the company for many reasons.One was finacial the other the comapany(at least in my area) manifested into a fastfood culture. When I 1st joined the company we operated our business on what we called the three P's Partner, Pride, and Passion. We focused on the connection with our Partners and customers over the best coffee in the world. We where a 5 star legendary store 9 out of 12 in one year.(legendary service no longer being tought) My 40 work weeks soon turned into 50 55 hr work weeks. My pay increases Became smaller and smaller. Due to aggressive budgets Bonuses became non excessent. My DM told me on my annual review that he wont be satisfied untill I squeeze every pennie I can out my guests.I missed the good old days when we held coffee seminars,coffee tastings every day with our guests. I miss my partners, peers and regular customers. For those of you still with the company try to bring back the coffee culture. I now long for as a guest and miss as a partner. I feel the only way this great company will survive is to take better care of the parnters, close the ***** drive thru's. And bring back the unique coffee culture that once lived in our stores.

PDX Barista

I have been here 10+ years and this was a punch to the gut!

I appreciate the overwhelming communication from DAY 1 about the "transformation". We knew store closings were coming, maybe not 600.

This is a sound business move. To keep plants and trees growing and healthy you need to prune and cut away the things that do harm. In our case right now it has been store development, SSC positions, Partner Resource positions, and now stores. The next wave will be DMs, RDs, and more at the SSC. Follow this...

If it was truely just 600 stores closing it is safe to say that we could see 60 DMs eliminated and 6 RDs eliminated. Following the formula of about 10 stores per DM and about 9-10 DMs per RD.

The stores are not concentrated in this fashion but there will be cuts that take place above the store level.

All partners need to get there "houses" in order. If we had done this over the last year by SMs being fiscally responsible and holding partners accountable and DMs taking a harder stance with crummy SMs, would this have happened to 600?

We are still planning to open 200 US stores that will be in better locations and go through a more rigorous planning process. This will be great in the long run.

I do not like what is/has happened. I understand it from a business standpoint and for the health of the compnay I am glad we are taking this measure. I know that I am evaluating my team and looking at who may not need to be a part of this organization going forward.

So those of you that are "sinking ship" theorists, please leave now b/c it saves me from the conversation and the continued performance auditing which will undoubtedly lead to you leaving anyways.

Melody

Truth:
The latest update is that that the City of Seattle and the Sonics ownership will come to settlement ... all of this right before the judge would have issued her decision:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008030229_sonitrial02.html

spork

Melody, you know I love you, but 13yearcustomer was joking! Although it was pretty funny to have a "straight man" to react the way you did.

As a Canadian partner this doesn't effect me, but I really hope that everyone who is hurt by this knows I'm thinking about them!

STILLHEREANDHAPPY

I'll give everyone that stays a BJ!!! Please don't leave!!! OH GOD! The kool-aid is wearing off!!!

Melody

Spork: Yep. After a few moments (though shamefully not immediately) I saw that 13yearcustomer was joking. I shouldn't tell you this, but my boyfriend loves calling me the "straight man" and we play back and forth with each other all the time with jokes. I act a little too straight with him just to have fun!

Webmaster jim: Sorry for the totally off topic random post. Feel free to delete it if you don't like it.

PDX Barista

Web Master Jim...

Any truth to the rumors of us doing a joint product venture with Cheesecake Factory?

barista4763

To be fair they should send out partner reviews to the store managers and have them assess each partner at the closing stores instead of giving them a first come first serve transfer to save the shitty baristas.

stillhereandhappy

clearly the last post wasn't mine...

Ollie

What do you do after leaving Starbucks?

Well, after I left 3 years ago, the first thing I did was take a job with a 65% pay raise - yeah, that's right - 65%. And although it was, by my own admission, much less fun than SBUX was, it was a job that treated me with the respect and dignity that SBUX never did. After a year of that job, I moved to another job - and I notice this is a trend among long term SBUX partners. The first job after SBUX is short term, and then after the effects of the brain washing diminish, you move on to a more long term position. I've been in this job for over two years - and it is like night and day from SBUX. To start off with, I make nearly 3 times as much as a made at SBUX. 300%! And I am treated well, in a way that SBUX never knew how to treat its partners. There is no drama here - and good lord was there drama at the SSC! I am actually treated as an adult who spends the day working, and not trying to deal with gossip, ever changing orders, and "personalities".

Be brave partners. I know that leaving is difficult, but believe me when I tell you that once you get out there, you'll see - there is life after SBUX - and a good one at that!

Brandon

I'm in Minnesota, in the suburbs just north of minneapolis...
It was unexpected for us, business is booming and we are top in the region for pastry sales and 2 or 3 in the lunch program...

truth

Thanks for screwing the Sonics, Howard.

Seattle lost its team today. Thanks a lot.

Pat Nerr

right on... HS, the poor little fella from the projects... makes himself millions while pissing off the folks he used to get it all... He truly is the American CEO...

but as Melody has said before... he's so handsome. I hope he can sleep at night (with his mistress in NY by his side)

STARBUCKS GOSSIP WEBMASTER

About a week ago, an analyst speculated that it could happen -- but he more or less admitted that he concocted the scenario and had no evidence it would happen. Cheesecake Factory stock went up for one day, so I guess it was mission accomplished for the guy.

>>>Any truth to the rumors of us doing a joint product venture with Cheesecake Factory?

Buck Star

Hell, I'll be happy if they close my store. It is nice and all, but it is located in the most looney spot and nobody had the foresight to fight for customer or partner parking in the original contract. I can't just park the Jag any old place! I hope the guy that ok'd the store location is fired too. The bad thing is that I can't think of another store that I would enjoy working in; that isn't a "real coffee shop" i.e. a competitor. Oh well that is why I am going to college. C'mon how many of you really wanted sbux for a career? If so maybe this is an opportunity from the Great Spirit to dig deeper to find a more purposeful and fulfilling life's work.

nycmgr

So, from what I've heard so far - none of the first 50 will be in the NYC Metro area and after that only a handful of the remaining 600 will come from here. We'll see though.

Melody

PatNerr - you're too much. ;)

Has anyone heard about Seattle closures? I'm very curious. I can think of just a couple stores that I think should go ...

seven

I heard none of the stores in the NYC Uptown Region will close.

Investor&Partner

Hey NoBuyOut and Truth:

Someone purchasing 1 million shares and 1.5 million shares is a drop in the bucket. There are over 700 million shares of Starbucks stock out there (per Google Finance: http://finance.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=NASDAQ:SBUX). Even if all of those were purchased by one person, that is less than 1/2 a percent. If anything, this will drive the price up because of increased demand. Howard owns over 17 Million shares on his own (per Yahoo! Finance: http://biz.yahoo.com/t/66/478.html). It's going to take a lot more than a million shares to push around the Board of Directors.

ex barista

I was an ASM until April when I got out while the getting was good. I worked my way up from barista, busted my ass, jumped through every hoop they put in front of me and then a new DM comes in and completely destroys the culture and apparently has no idea what the company is supposed to be about-- or maybe I'm wrong and the conpany's focus is bottled water and merchandise-- I forget now. The company needs to get back to coffee and people and they need to fire those who dont get it. So, whay do we do when we leave? Luckily I had the good sense to finish college while I worked 50 hours a week. Then I took a small paycut to leave. But now I go to work everyday with a smile and I think I finally earned my soul back! I thought starbucks was great but I didn't really know what a great company was. Those of you who get laid off-- it could be a great thing for you...

oregonbarista

Our DM Called today and told us no closures in the Northwest, so i guess it will be everywhere else

Oregon question

Oregon Barista-- As much as I would love to believe you, I dont think Seattle is safe. Seattle doesnt have as much competition as East Coast stores do (Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons and I am sure there are alot more I dont know of), but with the stores here, I find it hard to believe none in the Northwest Will close. What does he mean by Northwest? Pacific Northwest to me means Washington, Idaho and Oregon...?

truth

investorpartner- You proved your own point exactly wrong. One million shares on a 700 mill float is a drop in the bucket and will have no impact on 'demand'.

Only suckers believe this is how the market really works.

Baristard

Seattle (and NW) stores will close. No question about it. It may not be on the list of 50, but there will be stores closing in that region.

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