Food 26 Feb 2007 07:36 am

Schultz: Starbucks Everywhere Isn’t So Hot

by Sean Hackbarth

Endless Starbucks

Last week, a memo from Starbucks (SBUX) founder and chairman Howard Schultz leaked onto the internet. The title briskly states: “The Commoditization of the Starbucks Experience.” In it he writes about “Some people even call our stores sterile, cookie cutter;” automatic espresso machines ruining the site lines to the baristas, and even the lack of coffee smells due to freshness packaging. The “commoditization” of the brand has opened it up to “small and large coffee companies, fast food operators, and mom and pops, to position themselves in a way that creates awareness, trial and loyalty of people who previously have been Starbucks customers.”

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