Coffee and Starbucks

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.:Executive Summary:.
Starbucks has been the most successful coffee chain using their aggressive expansion strategies to surpass its competitors. Through its expansion, Starbucks has focused on creating a dense network of stores all around US, while also opening up new locations all around the world.

However, Starbucks’ aggressive expansion strategies have posed major threats to its financial health such as tight cashflows, increase debts, poor liquidity ratios and etc. In addition, this approach can exacerbate competition among close Starbucks stores. Due to the aggressive expansion, Starbucks has lost its internal focus in its core business coffee and its unique “Starbucks Experience – third place”.

The issues are how Starbucks can stay profitable in the future and at the same time sustain its dominant position in the gourmet coffee industry. We have examined the industry analysis that focuses on the industry trends, the firm competitive environment and followed by a SWOT analysis on Starbucks. Finally, we look at the company strategy analysis that focuses on the Starbucks’ strategic intent and its strategic position. From these analyses, we recommend a few options where Starbucks should pursue moving forward in order to avoid further decline and sustain its dominant position. .:Company Background & History:.

Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice was established in 1971 by Jerry Baldwin, Zey Siegel and Gordon Bowker in Seattle to sell roasted coffee beans and coffee machines. (See Exhibit 1 for timeline) At that time, the founders’ philosophy was to provide high quality coffee and educate the public the art of appreciating fine coffee. It was the founders’ passion and strong commitment on educating the public that attracted Howard Schultz to join Starbucks in 1982 as the head of the marketing department, overseeing the company’s retail stores.

On one of his business trips to Milan, Italy, Schultz stumbled upon an opportunity to revamp Starbucks and shift its focus from its original business activities. Schultz’s new business proposition for Starbucks was to serve freshly brewed coffee at their outlets which he sold to the founders without success. After many unsuccessful attempts, he left the Company.

In 1987, Schultz acquired Starbucks from the founders and changed its name to the more abbreviated ‘Starbucks’ and modified her logo to what we see today. After the acquisition, he introduced the idea of ‘The Starbucks experience’ to all Starbucks’ outlets; that is to create a comfortable atmosphere for patrons to relax. From then on, every Starbucks outlet was the perfect duplicate of this concept.

In 1992, Starbucks had launched an IPO and its common stock was being traded on the Nasdaq. In 1995, Starbucks venture overseas and formed a joint venture with SAZABY Inc to open Starbucks stores in Japan. In 1996, Starbucks first oversea outlet was opened in Tokyo.

Today, Starbucks has a total of 7,087 Company operated stores and 4,081 License stores in US. Additionally, it has 1,796 Company operated stores and 2,792 Joint Venture and License store operating in other 43 countries.

.:Definition of the Industry, Competitors and Scope of Analysis: Generally, Starbucks is in the Food and Beverages industry. However for the purpose of this paper, we would define Starbucks to be in the gourmet coffee industry with the following competitors : •Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf;

Costa Coffee;
Caribou Coffee
(See Exhibit 2 for a brief write up on reasons for the choice of these competitors and some background information of them) For the purpose of this paper, our analysis will be focusing on Starbucks in US and Australia. The next section provides an overview of the gourmet coffee industry and the competitive environment in US and Australia.

.:Overview of the Industry:.
.:Political Forces:.
Generally both the US and the Australia political situation appeared to be well established and...
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