1. In the beginning, how was Starbucks different from other coffee options for coffee drinkers in the United States? What activities and assets did Starbucks leverage to differentiate itself from competitors? 2. When Starbucks was rapidly expanding its store locations in 2006–2009 it made specific changes in order to facilitate that growth. What did Starbucks gain—and give up—as a result of each change? 3. When Schultz returned to Starbucks as CEO in 2008, how had the competitive context changed since his first tenure running the firm? What had caused or facilitated the changes? 4. Why did Schultz respond the way he did to the changes he found in 2008? What was he trying to achieve? Were his responses effective or ineffective? 5. Did the introduction of VIA make sense in light of the market The first Starbucks location opened in 1971. The name Starbucks was inspired by Moby Dick’s first mate. This name and the mermaid logo were inspired by the love of the sea, from Starbucks original location in Seattle Washington in the heart of Pike Place Market. Starting as a single shop specializing in high quality coffee and brewing products the company grew to be the largest roaster in Washington with multiple locations until the early 80’s. In 1981, current CEO Howard Schultz, recognized a great opportunity and began working with the founder Jerry Baldwin. After a trip to Italy to find new products, Schultz realized an opportunity to bring the café community environment he found in Italy to the United States and the Starbuck’s brand we know today began to take form. Selling espresso by the cup was the first test. Schultz left Baldwin to open his own Italian coffee house, II Giornale, which found outrageous success and in 1987 when Starbucks decided to sell the original 6 locations, Schultz raised the money with investors and purchased the company and fused them with his Italian bistro locations. The company experienced rapid growth going public in 1992, and growing...
Cited: 1) Garza, George. “The history of Starbucks.” Catalogs.com. Catalogs.com.
2) Garthwiate, Craig; Busse, Meghan; Brown, Jennifer; Merkley, Greg “Starbucks: A Story of Growth” Harvard Business Publishing, July 2012.
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