Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Happenings At Starbucks

This is a six page article, so I'll give you the highlights:

- Starbucks has a hush-hush new half-drink half-dessert coming out. ["I think we have the next Frappuccino!"]

- Starbucks is closing 100 stores.

- "I'd heard that, not long ago, two women sitting in a Seattle Starbucks were griping about how horrible the breakfast items were, when a tall, well-dressed man sitting near them -- Schultz himself, or so it was said -- chimed in that he agreed. All true, Schultz says. "I have been embarrassed by the food," he goes on. "The food is going to be completely reinvented by fall. With a stake in the ground. Done."

-"...Truth be told, Schultz would probably rather have Mickey Mantle's mitt; as a kid in Brooklyn, he wrote Mantle's number in Magic Marker on all his clothes, even his underwear."

-"On weekends, he [Schultz] reads emails from employees, who have his address. There have been 9,000 messages since January, and he says he's read them all."

-"Schultz can make himself seem like a saint, which can be a little disconcerting. How many people do you know who describe themselves as "benevolent"? He also embellishes -- calling Starbucks' iconic store at Pike Place Market its first (it's really the fifth) or saying that Starbucks was named after the character in Moby-Dick (only partly so) or that he served the first latte in America (he didn't) -- and has let people depict the Brooklyn streets on which he was raised as something out of West Side Story (they weren't). The press has generally overlooked such things."