Starbucks History, Development, and Growth
Starbucks began as a small company who provided coffee to fine restaurants and espresso bars. It has since, over the last twenty-one years, become the largest retail coffee company in the world. Starbucks has seen its company grow from having a mere 17 stores in 1987 to having currently 5, 688 locations globally. This amazing expansion can be attributed to Howard Schultz, who bought the Starbucks name fifteen years ago.
A large reason Starbucks has done so well for almost two decades can be attributed to changes of the coffee image among consumers. The recent popularity of specialty coffee is due to four new consumer trends: 1) the adoption of a healthier lifestyle, which led people to replace alcohol with coffee; 2) coffee bars had become a place where people could meet, and talk; 3) people developed a liking of affordable luxuries, and specialty coffee became the beverage to drink; and 4) consumers had become more aware about coffee, as its popularity quickly spread throughout North America. From 1990-1998 retail sales of specialty coffee has seen an increase of 18.5%. Because of coffee’s newfound popularity, Starbucks quickly began to take advantage of new ventures. It has pursued such projects as a direct mail program, which helped increase sales and transaction sizes, as well as introduce its customers with a wider range of products. The company has also tapped into the international market in a big way, and has found that to be quite successful as well. Currently it is pursuing ventures in the ice cream market, the bottled iced coffee beverages market, and perhaps the biggest one, the grocery market.
Starbucks Internal Strengths and Weaknesses
The numerous numbers of strengths within this organization explain why Starbucks coffee has done so well in competing in this industry. It all centres on the strengths of the young and energetic qualities of the chairma...