* We have had to make a series of decisions that, in retrospect, have lead to the watering down of the Starbucks experience, and, what some might call the commoditization of our brand."Anyone is welcome to comment, of course, but I'm especially interested in hearing from longtime partners who were working at Starbucks when this memo came out. Have things changed in four years? Is there truly a turnaround? (From my perspective, there's less of an egg smell now, but that's only change I notice.)
* "Stores ... no longer have the soul of the past and reflect a chain of stores vs. the warm feeling of a neighborhood store. Some people even call our stores sterile, cookie cutter, no longer reflecting the passion our partners feel about our coffee.
* "The merchandise, more art than science, is far removed from being the merchant that I believe we can be and certainly at a minimum should support the foundation of our coffee heritage. Some stores don't have coffee grinders, French presses from Bodum, or even coffee filters."
* "The current state of affairs ... has lead to competitors of all kinds, small and large coffee companies, fast food operators, and mom and pops, to position themselves in a way that creates awareness, trial and loyalty of people who previously have been Starbucks customers. This must be eradicated."