Starbucks-Case Study

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The current financial crisis has brought tremendous changes in the international settings and business environments. Beyond that, recent trends and contemporary modifications in legal, social, political, technological etc. aspects and the empowered role of various stakeholders (customers; suppliers; competitors; employees) have forced organizations to reconsider the way they are positioned / activated within their wider environment. By examining a real case organization of your own choice and by using relevant concepts and theories adopted for analyzing the business environment, discuss and critically evaluate the most influential forces and the way which these forces impact on organization’s strategies and shape its operations. Introduction

It is true that the current global financial crisis has changed tremendously the international settings and business environments. The recent trends and current modifications in legal, social, political, technological and environmental aspects and the privileged role of stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, competitors and employees, have forced organizations to reexamine how they are positioned and activated in their wider environment. In what follows, we shall examine the case of Starbucks and we shall analyze the organization’s business environment by using the concepts of PESTLE, SWOT analysis and Porter’s Five Forces analysis and how the most influential forces impact Starbucks’ strategies and shape its operations. Starbucks – Company Profile

Starbucks was founded in 1971 with a single store in Pike Place Market in Seattle, USA which was a retailer of coffee bean, tea and spices. Today, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world (Wikipedia) with nearly 18.000 retail stores in 60 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, UAE, US and Wales among others (Starbucks, 2012). Starbucks company was ranked 90th in the Top 100 Best Global Brands ranking in 2009 according to Businessweek. The company’s goal is for all of their coffee to be grown under the highest quality standards, by using practices of ethical sourcing. Starbucks offers a range of products varying from 30 blends of premium coffees, handcrafted beverages, coffee and tea brewing equipment, mugs, music, books and gifts, fresh food to consumer products such as coffee and tea, Ready-to-Drink (RTD) products and Starbucks ice cream (Starbucks, 2012). The Starbucks brand includes Starbucks Coffee, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Tazo Tea, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Torrefazione Italia Coffee (Starbucks, 2012). According to the company’s official website, the mission of Starbucks is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time”. Apart from its products, the Starbucks Company values a lot its employees. The company calls its employees “partners”, who are the “finest people” and are “at the heart of the Starbucks Experience” (Starbucks, 2012). Starbucks’ employees are treated with dignity and respect and they are offered two programs: comprehensive health coverage for full-time and part-time partners and equity in the company through Bean Stock (Starbucks, 2012). What is more, Starbucks takes pride in being considered a responsible company by developing approaches such as ethically sourcing the best quality coffee, thus buying practices, sustaining farmer loans and programs of forest conservation. The company also has an environmental care approach – their goal is that by 2015, 100% of Starbucks’ cups will be recyclable or reusable and they are also trying to reduce their environmental footprint via water and energy conservation, recycling and green construction. Furthermore, Starbucks is involved in the community by bringing people...
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