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August 24, 2010


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Clark Kent

Super... more car-salesman tactics coming. Can't wait!


I am very glad I do not work at Starbucks now. Soon I think Baristas will be saying "Starbucks Calling" and driving green cars if they sell 100,000$ worth of product.

Darth SiTarget

This is very backwards thinking. How can you say stores are the focus of your operations when you are adding more Targetbux than real stores while just using the real stores as brokers to talk up your fail products, so you can buy it elsewhere cheaper?

If stores are just becoming advertisement then I have a total solution for something cheaper. Billboard. Look how lean that is. Corporate would be proud.

(This last paragraph exudes sarcasm. Beware.)


@DarthSiTarget - It is backwards thinking because you're not focusing on coffee if you're telling your baristas to constantly push shiny new object or latest food promo which may or may not end up as a CPG item. It may be fabulous for investors, (especially short term) but long term it looks like brand dilution.


Has anyone at SCC ever realized the reason why Starbucks has struggled financially isn't because of the market in recent years? Its due to the forcing of their brand from outside of their stores and into the grocery stores and other large chain stores! Why the hell would someone want to but coffee at Starbucks when they can save themselves money while grocery shopping? Starbucks Coffee isn't exclusive anymore when you can get it anywhere now! Also, if SCC and any upper management cannot figure out why individual stores are not making their whole bean/ Via targets, its not due to lack of the partners 'upselling' theses products- its because the partners are smarter than those at SCC and know where the better deal is for their home coffee brewing!!!


soo... anyone else doing something really time consuming, wasteful, and otherwise labor-tastic in their store recently? i'd like to know if we're the only district going through this nightmare right now, or if someone else out there also feels like curling into a ball and sobbing at the end of their shift. if you're doing this, you'll know.

Russel Brandt

Speaking of product, has anyone else noticed the new Katie Perry CD we sell smells like cotton candy. It comes with a parental advisory label too. I like how Starbucks is getting all "edgy" now.


Dear Howard,

No. Just no. I have tried to support all of your ventures during our many years together, but I have to take a stand this time. Think of what you are doing to the children...

Spider Jerusalem

And of course, as we extend further and further into the grocery stores, selling the same products at lower prices in other venues, more and more compensation in the forms of labor and cash bonuses will rely on how much is sold at the store level.
"Yes, I know you can get a 12-pack of VIA for $6.95 next door, but I don't get to keep my job otherwise!"
Brand dilution doesn't work unless you admit that it's brand dilution.


...and the stock has slid to a low not seen since early March. Even Wall Street's not buying the BS anymore. Time to cash out. I think Starbucks is going to double dip, and maybe Howie will have to delay that book on how he saved the company.

Spider Jerusalem

but he must have saved the company! There's no more union organizing, morale is at a high, Via sales are through the roof, labor is sky-high, we're all making metric tons of money and get free Canadian healthcare! He appreciates us and thanks us for our passion, that means he saved us all!!!!11!1!one!!1!


Oh my, all of you chicken littles!! Might you consider that the pricepoints in alternative venues are to gain market share of customers who don't otherwise shop in our stores? We may have never had some of those customers in the first place, and yes, it's true that it might impact current customers who make "smarter" decisions on how to spend their money, but let's face it- this demographic was already coming to our store less, and spending less, and re-evaluating how to spend their dollar. So we have SAVED this current "thirfty" customer demographic, added new "thrifty" customers in alternative venues, and we all get to keep our jobs. Most you must not have been around in 2007-2008 when massive layoffs, store closures, and true cynicism was the talk of the store.

Yes, the brand is morphing. Basic business model analysis will tell you that it must, if we would have tried to stay the same, in a market that is vastly different, than we would have been signing our own pink slips.

Take a minute and think about your perspective before you call it fact. I'm am actually really glad, for once, that those in decision-making positions are smart enough to get this- as if we were run by the "executives" who post SBgossip, we surely would have run ourselves into the ground on our pride.

Spider Jerusalem

I'll speak for myself and probably a few others here. I don't have any problem with us expanding into other markets. I have a problem with us expanding into markets and then penalizing employees at Cafe stores for not meeting sales goals on things that customers can purchase for less money at grocery stores, as I said before.


please enlighten us on how you were penalized.

Darth SiTake Some Business Classes.

Okay here is a fact. People unless they eat strictly only fast food or live off the land, go to a grocery store. Most go many times a week.

All of my customer base, except the Amish, go to grocery stores. These are the people that buy the product in grocery for different prices, not some random redneck who thinks the orange box looks shiny. If I did not eat Asian food then I would not buy it in a grocery store. I am sure the amount of people that walk down the aisle and decide they randomly want this product is about the same as people that have never been into a Sbux and walk in for the first time to buy something random on the shelve. If I want milk, then I go to where the cows are.

The bad part of the business model is the fact that Sbux makes only a certain base price off of a grocery item, the rest of the profit goes to the chain. If these two items were sold at the same price, one at a Sbux and the other at a Target, then Starbucks would get the whole pie from an actual store instead of a piece of it at the Target. This includes more profits for Sbux shareholders as opposed to Target shareholders.

me myself and I

I really don't understand this strategy. Why should Starbucks stores sell the exact same product way more expensive than it offers it at the grocery store shelves? If it is the same price or even better in the Starbucks owned stores, then I would understand it. They would be able to keep more of the profits than sharing it with Target et al and the customers that actually buy it in Starbucks stores don't feel ripped off.
As someone mentioned before, most people actually go to grocery stores, so why not save almost half price and stock up on via there? Why trying to guilt a customer into buying from their barista for some shady sales goal? If it can be sold at Target for 6.95, then it can be sold at Starbucks for the same, if not less. But I guess buying a spot on the big box retailers shelve ain't cheap, so someone has to pay for it.

Why would Starbucks try to get customers into grocery stores? Of course they should offer their products there. But then they should try to get the grocery store customer who likes the starbucks products on the shelve but hasn't been in a store in a while to go to one. They should be tempted to pick up that via at a store because it is easier to hop quickly into a Starbucks than finding your way through target. And once in the store they might pick up a latte, some whole beans, a nice mug or maybe even just a muffin as well. This way it makes sense. Forcing loyal store customers to also visit Target doesn't make any sense unless Starbucks just bought Target.

Just my two cents.


Our store has lost way too much business to Target and Kroger. They may very well push us of out of business where I live.


How come one store has baristas wearing bow ties and another store a few minutes away doesn't?

When I saw Katy Perry CDs, I was surprised that there weren't new promotional aprons that have two whip cream cans attached to shoot your customers with!


The $7.99 pack of VIA is only an 8 count and the bags of coffee in the market for $8 are only 12 oz. If you price things out..they are cheaper at Starbucks.



Starbucks doesn't have a uniform, just a dress code. So baristas are allowed to wear tasteful ties and bolo ties if they want to. If one barista in a store wakes up and decides to wear a tie, then they can wear them. I always wear my bow-ties for special occasions! (like lady gaga being in town)


SPORK, I have always managed to get away with wearing neckties of questionable taste. :D


doyourresearch, I can't speak for Spider, but I do know that several partners have been written up for not meeting VIA sales targets. I'd call that a penalty, wouldn't you? Don't be snide.

Spider Jerusalem

I've been disciplined for not making sales goals. My first corrective action in two years was for selling whole bean over VIA, which I consider a part of my job - to sell and educate people about coffee, not to push VIA.
I didn't sell $50 of it a day, so my manager cut me to 12hrs/wk until I could sell better.
I'm a hell of a salesman, I just can't sell something I don't believe in.

Rick Johnson

Speaking as a customer, it's not possible for me to frequently visit a store since I don't live or work very close to one. I love Java Chip ice cream and buy a lot of it at the grocery store. I'm glad to see I can purchase even more products at the grocery store. So...I end up buying more SBUX products than I otherise would as result of the company offering products through different channels. How could that be a bad thing?

Darth Sidamo

Because those are made by other companies like Pepsi (Bottled Fraps and Double Shots) that just pay for our namesake.


I think that hearing/reading stuff along the lines of what Spider Jerusalem posted is what irritates me most about VIA, and may perhaps annoy me about future sales foci; namely, they're not what I signed up to do. I've been around long enough to remember when we properly trained baristas, at least in my experience. I've got yearlong partners at my store who can barely tell the difference between Verona and House. And that is just sad.

Of course, I'm not so naive as to believe that nature of any job wouldn't change over time. However, I do think it's sad that such
effort is being placed into a product to the detriment of other aspects of what drew some great people to the company.

And yes, Starbucks has changed too. Those of us with passion are not of interest to retain or hire. Profit and blind obedience are what is really valued, and I suppose that's okay. I'll do a great job at doing what I'm expected while I'm still an employee, but I'm doing just as due a diligence at finding new work.


Shift misto,
If you are referring to IMS, yes you are correct. IMS without Simphony is a nightmare because every item now has to be entered MANUALLY! Doesn't Starbucks realize how much paper they're wasting now?


Oh, shift misto and BSR, you worry me. We are about to launch IMS, without Simphony. Oh geezus...

This SUx

So starbucks is now the number one Fast Food/Coffee Supermarket...Nice, I knew that they were setting the stores up for something, just not an outlet to share new shitty products, and when they tank, sell them to a supermarket chain, nice we have offically become worthless...This place REALLY sucks to work for and come in as a customer...WOW what a piece of isht company...

This SUx

Spork Lady "GAGA" is a useless drug addict with bad taste and needs to check into rehab...I guess similar feathers flock together, what a useless company with Fast Food druggies dressing like clowns, Yea this company is heading down hill big time.


nope, not IMS. i like ims so far.. its simple, useful, predictable.

and dont work guat, we don't have symphony either. ims might seem a little overwhelming at first, but its easy to pick up, and soooo much nicer than what we've been working with!


errr..dont WORRY. unfortunately you'll still have to work. its not ^that^ accommodating..

5 star bob

The Katie Perry cd is disgusting... does Starbucks have any moral sense?
Promoting violence against women...really!!


Damn, and I thought IMS was going to do all the work for me...


several partners complained to PCC about the Katy Perry CD and were told that we still had to sell it. Double standard. If a partner brought that cd in, they could be sued for harassment.


We were not even allowed to price match the costoc in our parking lot that sold via for about a $4 savings. The company doesn't care why you don' thit a goal, only that you don't hit it which was a big depature from the culture of "as long as we understand the why's."

If anything, there should be more incentive to go to a Starbucks. Like whole bean is 16oz vs the 12 in the grocery store (though on sale its cheaper to buy at grocery stores or target ounce for ounce). LIke VIa in company stores should have bonus packets, some extra incentive. Why do they not see that?

Starbucks couldn't even execute a breakfast program to rival conveniene store breakfast and charges more.

Someone said is best... there's no exclusive nature of starbucks when you can get it anywhere and cheaper

miami auto

I really happy Lady Gaga walked away with so many MTV awards yesterday. I know she is not the best singer in the world but at least she is entertaining.

miami auto

I really happy Lady Gaga walked away with so many MTV awards yesterday. I know she is not the best singer in the world but at least she is entertaining.

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