I think what really surprised us during the quarter, was Pumpkin Spice Latte, which is a product we've had many years before, to have a 40% increase is just an unbelievable number. And I think all of the questions and perhaps the cynics of a couple of years ago that believed that when McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts entered the space, they were going to have a destructive effect on Starbucks has proven to be not only not the case, but I think the more money that's been spent against the category has helped Starbucks create awareness, new customers and obviously distance between them and us.
SCHULTZ ALSO SAID:
* "Looking ahead we plan to open at least 200 net stores in the U.S. in 2012 and to remodel approximately 1,700 existing stores, that's the most stores we've ever remodeled in a year."
* Blonde roast will be available in whole bean and ground starting in January in retail stores and through our grocery channels. Blonde will also be brewed in stores, available in K-Cup portion packs in January and as a Starbucks VIA variety.
* In fiscal 2011, over $1.1 billion in purchases was paid for by the use of the Starbucks Card. And today, a Starbucks Card is used in 1 in every 4 transactions.
* The NYC Times Square store is "a roaring financial success delivering over twice the revenue on a 70% increase in traffic compared to last year."
Go ahead and discuss Schultz's earnings comments, or anything else Starbucks-related in this OPEN THREAD.