Retail Services Characteristics

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In this paper the most common services characteristics, namely perishability, intangibility, inseparability and heterogeneity will be applied to a well - known retail services brand. In this case the focus shall be on how the aforementioned characteristics apply to Starbucks. In order to better understand the problem the history of the company alongside current corporate objectives will be briefly described. In the following paragraphs the notice will be mainly on the retailer’s ability to cope with the theory’s implications. The first Starbucks coffee shop was opened in 1971 in Seattle. The name was inspired by Moby Dick and the logo which has now become somehow of a cult figure is a twin-tailed mermaid. However it wasn’t until 1987 when a major breakthrough came and the brand started to receive a world – wide recognition. In August, Howard Schultz backed with the capital from local investors bought the Starbucks. Since then the company grew in an exponential manner which resulted in opening more than 16,000 stores in over 55 countries to this day. Similar as the majority of large enterprises Starbucks also incorporates its own business and social objectives. The goal is to project the brand image in a consumer and environmental friendly way. Their mission statement is to inspire and nurture the human spirit through their exceptional service and high quality coffee. In a very holistic approach they are aiming to improve every aspect of the business, from the customers and employees to the suppliers and shareholders. Moving on from this brief description of Starbucks the focus will now shift to the retail services characteristics, more precisely on intangibility and its implications. Experts agree that a service is intangible because the customer cannot sense it (Newman and Cullen, 2002). It is an abstraction which cannot be directly examined before the purchase. In the case of most goods a prospective buyer is able to inspect the quality of the good by relying...
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