July 7, 2003

Starbucks Blind to Gigantic All-American Niche Market


Starbucks' founder, chairman and "chief global strategist" Howard Schultz is on record as saying in Forbes' Starbucks' World Won't Be Built In A Day

"Unfortunately people have a very short-term horizon," Schultz said in a telephone interview. "We're building a brand, not a fad."

To prove his point, Schultz also announced that the Seattle-based company wants to eventually have 25,000 stores worldwide, with 15,000 stores outside the U.S. and Canada. The company currently has more than 6,500 stores in total, with 1,552 stores in 29 countries excluding the U.S. and Canada.

Seems to me that Schultz could stand to wake up and smell his own coffee. The future of Starbucks is not "somewhere out there," but, literally, right here at home. If Schultz really wanted to make some serious dough rather than the piddling $3.3 billion his lattes launched into American brain cells last year, he'd up his bet on America.

In short, it would extend the Starbucks brand into every American home.

Yes, I want to wake up and find my own personal Starbucks with my own personal Starbuckeroo foaming my own personal carmel latte grande in my closet every single morning. And I want one for my beautiful wife too.

Given that Starbucks' stock (Nasdaq:SBUX) - much like Barnes and Noble - can only continue to go up if they keep opening stores, and given that there are now virtually three Starbucks at every intersection in America, they have filled the street based Starbucks to capacity.

If this was a really great American company they'd want to bring the comforts of cappucino to each and every one of us, with a choice of pastry, right away, every morning. After all, you need coffee to be able to go out and get coffee.

Let 300,000,000 Starbucks bloom!

Posted by Vanderleun at July 7, 2003 11:03 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

God, your wife is a lucky woman to have such a brilliant (and handsome) writer for a husband.

Sign me up. But make it a Grande Non-fat no-foam 1-Equal latte, would you?

Posted by: aka monique at July 7, 2003 11:35 AM

Actually, I think there's a niche market for someone selling coffee that actually tastes good.

That ain't Starbucks...

Posted by: Wind Rider at July 7, 2003 12:19 PM

OK, what gives? Do you work for Microsoft? Starbucks has just as clear a global-domination strategy as Gates' and we humble midwesterners aren't having any of it, dude. When Starbucks opened in our town, they could have picked from any of a number of good locations, but where did they go? Right across the street from the best coffee house in N.E. Kansas, obviously out to crush everything in their path. This particular Starbucks should under later this year, by my estimate, asmost townies are boycotting the place like the Black Plague.

Posted by: Clint Laing at July 7, 2003 12:33 PM

Didn't Coors do something like this back in the days they didn't sell nationwide? I remember my uncle bragging that he had his own Coors keg and tap in his game room and that it was installed by Coors.


Posted by: Jim H. at July 7, 2003 12:55 PM

A Starbucks in every home--I applaud this grand vision of 21st Century America. As a denizen of Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois, I can assure Mr. Schultz that the coffee market here is neither saturated nor satiated. But given the state of the nation's economy, I suggest a more modest and realistic goal...such as just 100,000 new Starbucks households. In the spirit of our nation's greatest achievements, such as the Apollo space program, LBJ's Great Society, and Clinton's 100,000 new police officers on the street, we could call this plan the "GRANDE DEAL" for every American and Americano!

Ashley Burke
Director of Communications
Lincoln Park Trixie Society

Posted by: Ashley Burke at July 7, 2003 1:14 PM

Are you insane? Don't give them ideas! Gyaah!

Posted by: lindenen at July 7, 2003 2:07 PM

Can't you see the brilliance in this. It gets Starbucks off the street. The streets are then returned to The People, who, having been caffinated at home will strive to take more back that has been riven from them.

A people
Will never
Be se-dated!

Posted by: Van der Leun at July 7, 2003 4:44 PM

Actually, Clint, market studies have shown that when a Starbucks opens across the street of some mom and pop coffee house, the business of BOTH the Starbucks and the mom and pop coffee house go up. Starbucks isn't driving independent coffee houses out of business. They are just getting more and more people to drink coffee.

Posted by: Potagozza the Younger at July 7, 2003 5:55 PM

Oh my god, are you talking about the Grape, Clint? I goto the raison every night...you know..the daily dose.

Posted by: Patrick at July 7, 2003 7:03 PM

It's all about Peet's.

Posted by: Geoffrey Murry at July 7, 2003 7:26 PM

Tea is better for you.

Posted by: Jerry at July 7, 2003 9:37 PM

Hey, isn't enough we've got one religious war going on in this courntry? Now, we gotta have the Coffee House Wars?

Posted by: Van der Leun at July 7, 2003 9:52 PM

Peet's burns their beans. Ugh.

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