Sunday, September 27, 2009

Starbucks via

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington, United States. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 16,120 stores in 49 countries, including around 11,000 in the United States, followed by nearly 1,000 in Canada and more than 800 in Japan. Starbucks sells drip brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks, other hot and cold drinks, snacks, and items such as mugs and coffee beans. Through the Starbucks Entertainment division and Hear Music brand, the company also markets books, music, and film. Many of the company's products are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Starbucks-brand ice cream and coffee are also offered at grocery stores.

From Starbucks' founding in later forms in Seattle as a local coffee bean roaster and retailer, the company has expanded rapidly. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening a new store every workday, a pace that continued into the 2000s. The first store outside the United States or Canada opened in the mid-'90s, and overseas stores now constitute almost one third of Starbucks' stores. The company plans to open a net of 900 new stores outside of the United States in 2009, but has announced 900 store closures in the United States since 2008.

Starbucks has been a frequent target of protests on issues such as fair-trade policies, labor relations, environmental impact, perceived anti-competitive practices,* and rumors of support for the Israeli military.^

The original Starbucks was opened in Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington, in 1971 by three partners: English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegel, and writer Gordon Bowker. The three were inspired by entrepreneur Alfred Peet (whom they knew personally) to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment. From 1971–1976, that first Starbucks was at 2000 Western Avenue; it then was relocated to 1912 Pike Place, where it remains to this day. During their first year of operation, they purchased green coffee beans from Peet's, then began buying directly from growers.

Entrepreneur Howard Schultz joined the company in 1982 as Director of Marketing, and after a trip to Milan, Italy advised that the company should sell coffee and espresso drinks as well as beans. The owners rejected this idea, believing that getting into the beverage business would distract the company from its primary focus. To them, coffee was something to be prepared in the home. Certain that there was money to be made selling pre-made drinks, Schultz started the Il Giornale coffee bar chain in 1985.

In 1984, the original owners of Starbucks, led by Baldwin, took the opportunity to purchase Peet's (Baldwin still works there).
Sale and expansion

In 1987, they sold the Starbucks chain to Schultz's Il Giornale, which rebranded the Il Giornale outlets as Starbucks and quickly began to expand. Starbucks opened its first locations outside Seattle at Waterfront Station in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Chicago, Illinois, that same year. At the time of its initial public offering on the stock market in 1992, Starbucks had grown to 165 outlets.

International expansion
The first Starbucks location outside North America opened in Tokyo, Japan, in 1996. Starbucks entered the U.K. market in 1998 with the $83 million acquisition of the then 60-outlet, UK-based Seattle Coffee Company, re-branding all the stores as Starbucks. By November 2005, London had more outlets than Manhattan, a sign of Starbucks becoming an international brand.

In April 2003, Starbucks completed the purchase of Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia from AFC Enterprises, bringing the total number of Starbucks-operated locations worldwide to more than 6,400. On September 14, 2006, rival Diedrich Coffee announced that it would sell most of its company-owned retail stores to Starbucks. This sale includes the company-owned locations of the Oregon-based Coffee People chain. Starbucks converted the Diedrich Coffee and Coffee People locations to Starbucks, although the Portland airport Coffee People locations were excluded from the sale.

Many bookstores have Starbucks outlets within them, including Barnes & Noble in the United States, Borders in the United Kingdom, Chapters in Canada, Livraria Saraiva in Brazil and B2S in Thailand.

The Starbucks location in the former imperial palace in Beijing closed in July 2007. The coffee shop had been a source of ongoing controversy since its opening in 2000 with protesters objecting that the presence of the American chain in this location "was trampling on Chinese culture." Also in 2007, Starbucks cancelled plans to expand into India, but opened its first store in Russia, ten years after first registering a trademark there. In 2008, Starbucks continued its expansion, settling in Argentina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Portugal . In April 2009, Starbucks entered Poland. New stores will be opened in Algeria Starbucks has also opened its doors on 05 August 2009, in Utrecht, Netherlands.
Restaurant experiment

In 1999, Starbucks experimented with eateries in the San Francisco Bay area through a restaurant chain called Starbucks cafes.

Corporate governance

Orin C. Smith was President and CEO of Starbucks from 2001 to 2005.

Starbucks' chairman, Howard Schultz, has talked about making sure growth does not dilute the company's culture and the common goal of the company's leadership to act like a small company.

In January 2008, Chairman Howard Schultz resumed his roles as President and CEO after an eight year hiatus, replacing Jim Donald, who took the posts in 2005 but was asked to step down after sales slowed in 2007. Schultz aims to restore what he calls the "distinctive Starbucks experience" in the face of rapid expansion. Analysts believe that Schultz must determine how to contend with higher materials prices and enhanced competition from lower-price fast food chains, including McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts. Starbucks announced it will discontinue its warm breakfast sandwich products, originally intended to launch nationwide in 2008, in order to refocus the brand on coffee, but the sandwiches were reformulated to deal with complaints and the product line stayed. On February 23, 2008, Starbucks closed its stores from 5:30-9:00 p.m. local time to train its baristas.

Recent changes

n March 2008, Schultz made several announcements to Starbucks shareholders. Schultz introduced Starbucks' "state of the art espresso system", the Thermoplan AG manufactured Mastrena, which replaced their previous superauto, the Thermoplan Verismo 801 (known internationally as the Thermoplan Black & White). Starbucks also announced that the company hopes to enter the energy drink market. Pre-ground beans will no longer be used, so that the grinding of whole bean coffee will "bring aroma, romance and theater" to American stores. The company also announced the acquisition of The Coffee Equipment Company, the manufacturer of the Clover Brewing System. They are currently test marketing this "fresh-pressed" coffee system at six Starbucks locations; three in Seattle, and three in Boston.

Starbucks stopped using milk originating from rBGH-treated cows in 2007.

In early 2008, Starbucks started a community website, My Starbucks Idea, designed to collect suggestions and feedback from customers. Other users comment and vote on suggestions. Journalist Jack Schofield noted that "My Starbucks seems to be all sweetness and light at the moment, which I don't think is possible without quite a lot of censorship". The website is powered by the Salesforce software.

In May 2008, a loyalty program was introduced for registered users of the Starbucks Card (previously simply a gift card) offering perks such as free Wi-Fi Internet access and free refills.[27]. Additionally, Starbucks Gold, a $25 yearly membership, entitles members to 10% off all purchases (besides iTunes, magazines, and payment for the membership/gift card) in Starbucks (not Barnes & Noble) stores, and along with 3 10% off guest passes, allows for a member to bring people in for friends and family day, allows for free treats throughout the year, 2 hours of AT&T Wi-Fi, and members-only discounts.

In June 2009, the company announced that it will be overhauling its menu and selling salads and baked goods without high-fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients. The move is expected to attract health- and cost-conscious consumers and will not affect prices.

In September 2009, Starbucks in the UK rolled out free Wi-Fi at most of its outlets, working with its WiFi partner BT Openzone. Customers with a Starbucks Card will be able to log-on to the Wifi in-store for free with their card details, thereby bringing the benefits of the loyalty program in-line with the US.
Store closures

On July 1, 2008, the company announced it was closing 600 underperforming company-owned stores and cutting U.S. expansion plans amid growing economic uncertainty. On July 29, 2008, Starbucks also cut almost 1,000 non-retail jobs as part of its bid to reenergize the brand and boost its profit. Of the new cuts, 550 of the positions were layoffs and the rest were unfilled jobs. These closings and layoffs effectively ended the company’s period of growth and expansion that began in the mid-1990s.

Starbucks also announced in July 2008 that it would close 61 of its 84 stores in Australia by August 3, 2008. Nick Wailes, an expert in strategic management of the University of Sydney, commented that "Starbucks failed to truly understand Australia’s cafe culture."

On January 28, 2009, Starbucks announced the closure of an additional 300 underperforming stores and the elimination of 7,000 positions. CEO Howard Schultz also announced that he had received board approval to reduce his salary.

In August 2009, Ahold announced closures and rebranding for nearly half, 43 exactly, of their licensed store Starbucks kiosks for their US based Stop & Shop and Giant supermarkets. Ahold has not abandoned the licensed Starbucks concept yet, they plan to open 5 new licensed stores by the end of 2009.
2009 New York City bombing

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on May 25, 2009, a Starbucks store on the Upper East Side in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, was bombed. A small improvised explosive device was used and damage was limited to exterior windows and a sidewalk bench; there were no injuries.Residents of apartments above the bombing site were briefly evacuated. Police believed at first that the bombing may be related to a serial bomber operating in Manhattan, because it was similar in nature to earlier bombings in Manhattan at the British and Mexican consulates, as well as a U.S. military-recruiting center in Times Square. However, a 17-year-old boy was arrested that July after boasting that he bombed the store to emulate the movie Fight Club.

In 2009, at least three stores in Seattle are being 'debranded' to remove the logo and brand name, and remodel the stores as local coffee houses "inspired by Starbucks." The first, 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea, opened in July on Capitol Hill after Starbucks employees visited local coffee houses on 'observation' trips. It serves wine and beer, and plans to host live music and poetry readings. The stores have been called "stealth Starbucks" and the practice has been criticized as "local-washing", similar to greenwashing.
Intellectual property

Starbucks U.S. Brands, LLC, is a Starbucks-owned company that currently holds and owns the property rights to approximately 120 Starbucks Coffee Company patents and trademarks. It is located at 2525 Starbucks Way in Minden, Nevada.

The company is named in part after Starbuck, Captain Ahab's first mate in the novel Moby-Dick, as well as a turn-of-the-century mining camp (Starbo or Storbo) on Mount Rainier. According to Howard Schultz's book Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, the name of the company was derived from Moby-Dick, although not in as direct a fashion as many assume. Gordon Bowker liked the name "Pequod" (the ship in the novel), but his then creative partner Terry Heckler responded, "No one's going to drink a cup of Pee-quod!" Heckler suggested "Starbo". Brainstorming with these two ideas resulted in the company being named for the Pequod's first mate, Starbuck.
International names

Starbucks is known internationally by the following names:

* Arabic-speaking countries: ستاربكس (transliteration: stārbaks)
* Bulgaria: Старбъкс (transliteration: Starbâks)
* China, Taiwan: 星巴克 Pinyin: xīngbākè (星 xīng means "star", while 巴克 is a transliteration of "-bucks")
* Israel: סטארבקס (transliteration: sṭārbaqs)
* Japan: スターバックス (transliteration: sutābakkusu)
* Russia: Старбакс (transliteration: Starbaks)
* South Korea: 스타벅스 (transliteration: seutabeokseu), often used in conjunction with the English name
* Quebec, Canada: Café Starbucks Coffee
* Thailand: สตาร์บัคส์ pronounced [satāːbākʰ]

n 2006, Valerie O'Neil, a Starbucks spokeswoman, said that the logo is an image of a "twin-tailed siren".[50] The logo has been significantly streamlined over the years. In the first version, which was based on a 16th-century Norse woodcut[48], the Starbucks siren was topless and had a fully visible double fish tail. The image also had a rough visual texture and has been likened to a melusine. In the second version, which was used from 1987–92, her breasts were covered by her flowing hair, but her navel was still visible, and the fish tail was cropped slightly. In the current version, used since 1992, her navel and breasts are not visible at all, and only vestiges remain of the fish tails. The original "woodcut" logo has been moved to the Starbuck's Headquarters in Seattle.

At the beginning of September 2006 and then again in early 2008, Starbucks temporarily reintroduced its original brown logo on paper hot-drink cups. Starbucks has stated that this was done to show the company's heritage from the Pacific Northwest and to celebrate 35 years of business. The vintage logo sparked some controversy due in part to the siren's bare breasts,[52] but the temporary switch garnered little attention from the media. Starbucks had drawn similar criticism when they reintroduced the vintage logo in 2006. The logo was altered when Starbucks entered the Saudi Arabian market in 2000 to remove the mermaid, leaving only her crown, as reported in a Pulitzer Prize-winning column by Colbert I. King in The Washington Post in 2002. The company announced three months later that it would be using the international logo in Saudi Arabia.

Starbucks is a frequent target of parodies and imitations of its logo, and often uses legal action against those it perceives to be infringing on its intellectual property. In 2000, San Francisco cartoonist Kieron Dwyer was sued by Starbucks for copyright and trademark infringement after creating a parody of its siren logo and putting it on the cover of one of his comics; later placing it on coffee mugs, t-shirts, and stickers that he sold on his website and at comic book conventions. Dwyer felt that since his work was a parody it was protected by his right to free speech under U.S. law. The case was eventually settled out of court, as Dwyer claimed he did not have the financial ability to endure a trial case with Starbucks. The judge agreed that Dwyer's work was a parody and thus enjoyed constitutional protection; however, he was forbidden from financially "profiting" from using a "confusingly similar" image of the Starbucks siren logo. Dwyer is currently allowed to display the image as an expression of free speech, but he can no longer sell it. In a similar case, a New York store selling stickers and T-shirts using the Starbucks logo with the words "fuck off" was sued by the company in 1999. An anti-Starbucks website,, which encouraged people to deface the Starbucks logo was transferred to Starbucks by Nominet UK, the registry for .uk domain names in 2005 Christian bookstores and websites in the US are selling a T-shirt featuring a logo with the mermaid replaced by Jesus and the words "Sacrificed for me" around the edge.

Other successful cases filed by Starbucks include the case won in 2006 against the chain Xingbake in Shanghai, China for trademark infringement, because the chain used a green-and-white logo with a name that sounded phonetically similar to the Chinese for Starbucks. Starbucks did not open any stores after first registering its trademark in Russia in 1997 and in 2002 a Russian lawyer successfully filed a request to cancel the trademark. He then registered the name with a Moscow company and asked for $600,000 to sell the trademark to Starbucks, but was ruled against in November 2005. A coffee store owner in Oregon called Sam Buck was prohibited from using her name on the shop front in 2006.

In 2003, Starbucks sent a cease-and-desist letter to "HaidaBucks Coffee House" in Masset, British Columbia, Canada. The store was owned by a group of young Haida men, commonly referred to as "bucks." After facing criticism, Starbucks dropped its demand after HaidaBucks dropped "coffee house" from its name.

Other cases have gone against the company. In 2005 Starbucks lost a trademark infringement case against a smaller coffee vendor in South Korea that operates coffee stations under the name Starpreya. The company, Elpreya, says Starpreya is named after the Norse goddess, Freja, with the letters of that name changed to ease pronunciation by Koreans. The court rejected Starbucks' claim that the logo of Starpreya is too similar to their own logo. A bar owner in Galveston, Texas, USA won the right to sell "Star Bock Beer" after a lawsuit by Starbucks in 2003 after he registered the name, but the 2005 federal court ruling also stated that the sale of the beer must be restricted to Galveston, a ruling upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007.

Ongoing cases include a dispute over the copyright application for Seattle’s Rat City Rollergirls logo in 2008 The company claimed the roller derby league’s logo by a Washington artist was too similar to its own. Starbucks requested an extension to further examine the issue and possibly issue a complaint, which was granted by the Trademark Office. The July 16, 2008 deadline passed without action by the corporation. Starbucks launched action against an Indian cosmetics business run by Shaznaz Husain, after she applied to register the name Starstruck for use with coffee and related products. She said her aim was to open a chain of stores selling coffee and chocolate-based cosmetics.

Others have used the Starbucks logo unaltered and without permission, such as a café in Pakistan that used the logo in 2003 in its advertisements and a cafe in Cambodia in 2009, the owner saying that "whatever we have done we have done within the law".