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CASE 11 StarbucksGoing Global Fast The Starbucks coffee shop on Sixth Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle sits serene and orderly, as...

Starbucks: Going Global Fast

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Answer the following questions (found also at the end of the case study):

  1. What are the controllable and uncontrollable elements that Starbucks has encountered in entering global markets?
  2. What are the major sources of risk facing the company?
  3. What are potential solutions.
  4. How would you critique Starbucks’ overall corporate strategy?
  5. How might Starbucks improve profitability in Japan?

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Your case study analysis paper should be well written, 3-4 pages, and conform to CSU-Global Guide to Writing and APA Requirements. Completely address all of the questions related to the case study in a coherent and fluid essay (not as a bulleted list of responses) and provide justifications for your decisions. Include at least three scholarly references in addition to the course textbook ( Chapters 5 & 6 in   Cateora, P., Gilly, M., & Graham, J. (2013). International marketing (16th ed.) 

there could be room for even more stores. Given such concen- tration, it is likely to take annual same-store sales increases of 10 percent or more if the company is going to match its historic overall sales growth. That, as they might say at Starbucks, is a tall order to F ll. Indeed, the crowding of so many stores so close together has become a national joke, eliciting quips such as this headline in The Onion , a satirical publication: “A New Starbucks Opens in Rest- room of Existing Starbucks.” And even the company admits that while its practice of blanketing an area with stores helps achieve market dominance, it can cut sales at existing outlets. “We prob- ably self-cannibalize our stores at a rate of 30 percent a year,” Schultz says. Adds Lehman Brothers Inc. analyst Mitchell Speiser: “Starbucks is at a deF ning point in its growth. It’s reaching a level that makes it harder and harder to grow, just due to the law of large numbers.” To duplicate the staggering returns of its F rst decade, Starbucks has no choice but to export its concept aggressively. Indeed, some analysts gave Starbucks only two years at most before it saturates the U.S. market. The chain now operates 5,507 international out- lets, from Beijing to Bristol. That leaves plenty of room to grow. Most of its planned new stores will be built overseas, represent- ing a 35 percent increase in its foreign base. Most recently, the chain has opened stores in Vienna, Zurich, Madrid, Berlin, and even in far-off Jakarta. Athens comes next. And within the next year, Starbucks plans to move into Mexico and Puerto Rico. But global expansion poses huge risks for Starbucks. ±or one thing, it makes less money on each overseas store because most of them are operated with local partners. While that makes it easier to start up on foreign turf, it reduces the company’s share of the proF ts to only 20 percent to 50 percent. Moreover, Starbucks must cope with some predictable chal- lenges of becoming a mature company in the United States. After riding the wave of successful baby boomers through the 1990s, the company faces an ominously hostile reception from its future consumers, the twenty- or thirty-somethings of Generation X. Not only are the activists among them turned off by the power and image of the well-known brand, but many others say that Star- bucks’ latte-sipping sophisticates and piped-in Kenny G music are a real turnoff. They don’t feel wanted in a place that sells designer coffee at $3 a cup. Even the thirst of loyalists for high-price coffee cannot be taken for granted. Starbucks’ growth over the early part of the past de- cade coincided with a remarkable surge in the economy. Consumer spending tanked in the downturn, and those $3 lattes were an easy place for people on a budget to cut back. Starbucks also faces slumping morale and employee burnout among its store managers and its once-cheery army of baristas. Stock options for part-timers in the restaurant business was a Starbucks innovation that once commanded awe and respect from its employees. But now, though employees are still paid better than comparable workers elsewhere—about $7 per hour— many regard the job as just another fast-food gig. Dissatisfac- tion over odd hours and low pay is affecting the quality of the CASE 11 Starbucks—Going Global Fast The Starbucks coffee shop on Sixth Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle sits serene and orderly, as unremarkable as any other in the chain bought years ago by entrepreneur Howard Schultz. A few years ago however, the quiet storefront made front pages around the world. During the World Trade Organization talks in November 1999, protesters ² ooded Seattle’s streets, and among their targets was Starbucks, a symbol, to them, of free-market cap- italism run amok, another multinational out to blanket the earth. Amid the crowds of protesters and riot police were black-masked anarchists who trashed the store, leaving its windows smashed and its tasteful green-and-white decor smelling of tear gas instead of espresso. Says an angry Schultz: “It’s hurtful. I think people are ill-informed. It’s very difF cult to protest against a can of Coke, a bottle of Pepsi, or a can of ±olgers. Starbucks is both this ubiqui- tous brand and a place where you can go and break a window. You can’t break a can of Coke.” The store was quickly repaired, and the protesters scattered to other cities. Yet cup by cup, Starbucks really is caffeinating the world, its green-and-white emblem beckoning to consumers on three continents. In 1999, Starbucks Corp. had 281 stores abroad. Today, it has about 5,500—and it’s still in the early stages of a plan to colonize the globe. If the protesters were wrong in their tactics, they weren’t wrong about Starbucks’ ambitions. They were just early. The story of how Schultz & Co. transformed a pedestrian com- modity into an upscale consumer accessory has a fairy-tale qual- ity. Starbucks grew from 17 coffee shops in Seattle 15 years ago to over 16,000 outlets in 50 countries. Sales have climbed an average of 20 percent annually since the company went public, peaking at $10.4 billion in 2008 before falling to $9.8 billion in 2009. ProF ts bounded ahead an average of 30 percent per year through 2007 peaking at $673, then dropping to $582 billion and $494 billion in 2008 and 2009, respectively. The F rm closed 475 stores in the U.S. in 2009 to reduce costs. Still, the Starbucks name and image connect with millions of consumers around the globe. Up until recently, it was one of the fastest-growing brands in annual BusinessWeek surveys of the top 100 global brands. On Wall Street, Starbucks was one of the last great growth stories. Its stock, including four splits, soared more than 2,200 percent over a decade, surpassing Walmart, General Electric, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and IBM in total returns. In 2006 the stock price peaked at over $40, but now has declined to $4. Schultz’s team is hard-pressed to grind out new proF ts in a home market that is quickly becoming saturated. Amazingly, with over 10,000 stores scattered across the United States and Canada, there are still eight states in the United States with no Starbucks stores. ±rappuccino-free cities include Butte, Mon- tana, and ±argo, North Dakota. But big cities, af² uent suburbs, and shopping malls are full to the brim. In coffee-crazed Seattle, there is a Starbucks outlet for every 9,400 people, and the com- pany considers that the upper limit of coffee-shop saturation. In Manhattan’s 24 square miles, Starbucks has 124 cafés, with more on the way. That’s one for every 12,000 people—meaning that
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Cases 1 An Overview Starbucks was hoping to make up much of that growth with more sales of food and other noncoffee items but has stumbled somewhat. In the late 1990s, Schultz thought that offering $8 sand- wiches, desserts, and CDs in his stores and selling packaged cof- fee in supermarkets would signiF cantly boost sales. The specialty business now accounts for about 16 percent of sales, but growth has been less than expected. What’s more important for the bottom line, though, is that Star- bucks has proven to be highly innovative in the way it sells its main course: coffee. In 800 locations it has installed automatic espresso machines to speed up service. And several years ago, it began offering prepaid Starbucks cards, priced from $5 to $500, which clerks swipe through a reader to deduct a sale. That, says the company, cuts transaction times in half. Starbucks has sold $70 million of the cards. When Starbucks launched Starbucks Express, its boldest ex- periment yet, it blended java, Web technology, and faster service. At about 60 stores in the Denver area, customers can pre-order and prepay for beverages and pastries via phone or on the Star- bucks Express Web site. They just make the call or click the mouse before arriving at the store, and their beverage will be waiting—with their name printed on the cup. The company de- cided in 2003 that the innovation had not succeeded and elimi- nated the service. And Starbucks continues to try other fundamental store changes. It announced expansion of a high-speed wireless Inter- net service to about 1,200 Starbucks locations in North America and Europe. Partners in the project—which Starbucks calls the world’s largest Wi-±i network—include Mobile International, a wireless subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, and Hewlett-Packard. Customers sit in a store and check e-mail, surf the Web, or down- load multimedia presentations without looking for connections or tripping over cords. They start with 24 hours of free wireless broadband before choosing from a variety of monthly subscrip- tion plans. Starbucks executives hope such innovations will help surmount their toughest challenge in the home market: attracting the next generation of customers. Younger coffee drinkers already feel un- comfortable in the stores. The company knows that because it once had a group of twentysomethings hypnotized for a market study. When their defenses were down, out came the bad news. “They ei- ther can’t afford to buy coffee at Starbucks, or the only peers they see are those working behind the counter,” says Mark Barden, who conducted the research for the Hal Riney & Partners ad agency (now part of Publicis Worldwide) in San ±rancisco. One of the re- curring themes the hypnosis brought out was a sense that “people like me aren’t welcome here except to serve the yuppies,” he says. Then there are those who just F nd the whole Starbucks scene a bit pretentious. Katie Kelleher, 22, a Chicago paralegal, is put off by Starbucks’ Italian terminology of grande and venti for coffee sizes. She goes to Dunkin’ Donuts, saying: “Small, medium, and large is F ne for me.” As it expands, Starbucks faces another big risk: that of be- coming a far less special place for its employees. ±or a com- pany modeled around enthusiastic service, that could have dire consequences for both image and sales. During its growth spurt of the mid- to late-1990s, Starbucks had the lowest employee turnover rate of any restaurant or fast-food company, largely thanks to its then unheard-of policy of giving health insurance and modest stock options to part-timers making barely more than minimum wage. normally sterling service and even the coffee itself, say some customers and employees. ±rustrated store managers among the company’s roughly 470 California stores sued Starbucks in 2001 for allegedly refusing to pay legally mandated overtime. Star- bucks settled the suit for $18 million, shaving $0.03 per share off an otherwise strong second quarter. However, the heart of the complaint—feeling overworked and underappreciated—doesn’t seem to be going away. To be sure, Starbucks has a lot going for it as it confronts the challenge of regaining its growth. Nearly free of debt, it fuels ex- pansion with internal cash ² ow. And Starbucks can maintain a tight grip on its image because stores are company-owned: There are no franchisees to get sloppy about running things. By relying on mystique and word of mouth, whether here or overseas, the company saves a bundle on marketing costs. Starbucks spends just $30 million annually on advertising, or roughly 1 percent of rev- enues, usually just for new ² avors of coffee drinks in the summer and product launches, such as its new in-store Web service. Most consumer companies its size shell out upwards of $300 million per year. Moreover, Starbucks for the F rst time faces competition from large U.S. competitors such as McDonald’s and their new McCafés. Schultz remains the heart and soul of the operation. Raised in a Brooklyn public-housing project, he found his way to Starbucks, a tiny chain of Seattle coffee shops, as a marketing executive in the early 1980s. The name came about when the original owners looked to Seattle history for inspiration and chose the moniker of an old mining camp: Starbo. ±urther reF nement led to Starbucks, after the F rst mate in Moby Dick , which they felt evoked the sea- faring romance of the early coffee traders (hence the mermaid logo). Schultz got the idea for the modern Starbucks format while visiting a Milan coffee bar. He bought out his bosses in 1987 and began expanding. The company is still capable of designing and opening a store in 16 weeks or less and recouping the initial investment in three years. The stores may be oases of tranquility, but management’s expansion tactics are something else. Take what critics call its “predatory real estate” strategy—paying more than market-rate rents to keep competitors out of a location. David C. Schomer, owner of Espresso Vivace in Seattle’s hip Capitol Hill neighborhood, says Starbucks approached his landlord and offered to pay nearly double the rate to put a coffee shop in the same building. The landlord stuck with Schomer, who says: “It’s a little disconcerting to know that someone is willing to pay twice the going rate.” Another time, Starbucks and Tully’s Coffee Corp., a Seattle-based coffee chain, were competing for a space in the city. Starbucks got the lease but vacated the premises before the term was up. Still, rather than let Tully’s get the space, Starbucks decided to pay the rent on the empty store so its competitor could not move in. Schultz makes no apologies for the hardball tactics. “The real estate business in America is a very, very tough game,” he says. “It’s not for the faint of heart.” Still, the company’s strategy could backF re. Not only will neighborhood activists and local businesses increasingly resent the tactics, but customers could also grow annoyed over having fewer choices. Moreover, analysts contend that Starbucks can maintain about 15 percent square-footage growth in the United States— equivalent to 550 new stores—for only about two more years. After that, it will have to depend on overseas growth to maintain an annual 20 percent revenue growth.
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1. What are the controllable and uncontrollable elements that Starbucks has
encountered in entering global markets?
Controllable Elements - Starbucks' development over the...

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