The Effect of the Current External Environment on the Marketing Management of a Company or an Organization Within the Hospitality or Tourism or Leisure Industry

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Topics: Coffee
By now, most Americans must have heard or be familiar with a chain of coffeehouses, named Starbucks. Established in 1971 as a local coffee bean roaster and retailer, Starbucks has expanded rapidly. By successfully adopting Italian coffee culture into a variety of beverages such as brewed coffee, espresso, teas, Frappuccinos and related products such as music CDs, pastries or ice creams, the Seattle-based company has reported USD 7.9 billion in revenue with 22 percent annual growth (Starbucks, 2006) . Operating 13,168 stores in 41 countries, Starbucks has, inarguably, become one of the largest and most recognizable coffeehouses all over the world (Harrison & Enz, 2005). Meanwhile, the company still targets for operating 30,000 stores worldwide in long-term growth (ibid.). Among numbers of destinations, China is Starbucks’ next target. Opening its first store in 1999, Starbucks is running 540 stores in China, including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau (ibid). Although China currently accounted for less than 10 percent of Starbucks’ USD 7.9 billions global sales in 2006, Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz believes that the country will soon become the firm’s largest market outside North America (Asia Pulse, 2006). EuroMonitor (2004) showed that Starbucks’ unit sales have jumped dramatically by 814 percent between 1999 and 2003. Despite of its market attractiveness, China can also be a pitfall for any organization. Eight years after opening, Kraft, a multi national food company has been forced to close its dairy-making business. Similarly, Whirlpool has reported to have lost £26 million since its investment to China (Jobber, 2007). Commonly quoted reasons for failure are the inability to cope with diversity, changes or differences in culture, local law, regulations or in other words, failing to adapt to the external marketing environment. Thus, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the influences of the current external environment on Starbucks’ marketing management

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