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Marketing Plan

Anthony Arola, Jin Kim, Machaela Manning

Principles of Marketing, BUSA 308

Professor Harmon

May 10, 2007

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Company Description
In 1971, three friends, Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel, and Gordon Bowker decided to

open a coffee store at Pikes Place Market in Seattle, Washington. They named this store,

Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice. This store sold coffee beans and dependable, high

quality coffee making equipment. At this time, Starbucks was considered a private

company. In 1972, the trio hired Howard Schultz to manage the sales of retail and to take

charge of the marketing of the company. After a trip to Italy, Schultz opened another

store, called Il Giornale, which was eventually combined with Starbucks Coffee, Tea and

Spice. Once these two companies merged, they became known as Starbucks Corporation.

In 1992, Starbucks became a public company, partnering with other companies,

such as Barnes & Noble, Inc. and PepsiCo. Starbucks Corporation grew quickly, opening

many stores throughout the world. Starbucks Corporation seemed to be on its way to

achieving its goal of becoming the most well-known coffee company in the world. In

1999, Starbucks acquired the tea company by the name of Tazo. Also in this year,

Starbucks signed a contract with Albertsons that would allow them to open multiple

coffee stands inside of the grocery store. There, they would also sell their newer bottled

drink, the Frappuccino, Tazo tea, and other Starbucks merchandise. By 2002, Starbucks

had about 4,709 (a few years later this has more than doubled) stores throughout the

world, in almost thirty countries, selling ice cream, supermarket coffee beans, coffee

brewing equipment, coffee flavored drinks, teas, books, and compact discs (Kembell,

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Business Mission
Starbuck’s vision is to become the most recognized coffee brand in the world. In

order to accomplish this goal, Starbucks follows four guidelines. The first of these is to

use the finest coffee beans to make their drinks. Starbucks prides itself on using the best

quality supplies to make their products. The second component is to make sure that

consumers think of their store first, over all of the other coffee companies by creating a

memorable image. The third component is providing a summary of the role of what

Starbucks does. The company lacks in this component because it does not specify what

business the company is in. “It assumes that as a recognized brand it does not need to,”

be specific. (Kembell, 2002). The fourth and final component is to strive and to reach the

companies full potential. These guidelines are in an effort to make Starbucks the most

recognized and the most respected brand of coffee.

Starbuck’s mission statement is to, “establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of

the finest coffee in the world while maintaining [their] uncompromising principles [as

they] grow” ( Starbucks has six guidelines that they follow when

making marketing decisions. The six principles are:

• Provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity.

• Embrace diversity as an essential component in the way they do business.

• Apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting and fresh

delivery of our coffee.

• Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.

• Contribute positively to our communities and our environment.

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• Recognize that profitability is essential to our future success.


Starbucks is also concerned with the well being of the environment, so they have a

second mission statement concerning the environment. This mission statement says,

“Starbucks is committed to a role of environmental leadership in all facets of our

business” ( In order to achieve this mission, Starbucks has stated

that it will:

• Gain an understanding of environmental issues and share that information with

their partners.

• Developing innovative and flexible solutions to bring about change.

• Strive to buy, sell and use environmentally friendly products.

• Recognize that fiscal responsibility is essential to their environmental future.

• Instill environmental responsibility as a corporate value.

• Measure and monitor progress for each project.

• Encouraging all partners to share in their mission (

Starbucks’ mission is meant to benefit both its employees and its customers.

Starbucks believes that it is important to make their employees happy, so they will, in

turn, to please their customers. Starbucks is known for the good treatment of their

employees and for their high level of customer service. Their high quality products also

make their name well known and respected by their customers.

Marketing Objective
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As of March 17, 2007, the company has about 13,000 stores, and plans to have at

least 40,000 stores worldwide. Within the next few years the company plans on attaining

this goal. Currently, Starbucks has stores in thirty-six different countries including United

Kingdom, Canada, Thailand, Australia, and Singapore (Starbucks 2007).

Starbucks believes it is important to have a good relationship with their customers

wherever they are located. For this reason, the company insists on using high quality

goods and services. The company also prides itself on being very open to diversity

because they believe that without diversity, their company would not be as successful as

it is now. They are known to be accepting of diverse groups of people because they bring

in ideas for new growth opportunities. Jim Donald, President and CEO of the Starbucks

Corporation states, “When we embrace diversity, we succeed” (

Starbucks believes that without diversity, their company would not have grown into the

highly successful international company that it has grown into today.

Situation Analysis
Industry Analysis


Currently, Starbucks has begun to look to international markets to further its sales

and growth. The company is now pushing their brand name internationally and it is very

optimistic about their potential growth.

Starbucks will attempt to add stores in cities where its logo are already commonly

recognized. Sometimes, this means putting two different Starbucks locations within a

block of the other. However in order to do this Starbucks risks cannibalization. Starbucks
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does admit to seeing see some cannibalization of their stores when two are operating

within close proximity of each other.

Another reason for opening two stores close to each other is so people do not have

to wait in long lines to purchase Starbucks products. This “close proximity” strategy

helps to aid Starbucks in reaching their global store location goal. During this last fiscal

year, Starbucks added 665 stores internationally. Starbucks does not plan to stop when

they will have a presence in 36 countries outside of the United States.

They are also looking to expand into more European countries such as Russia,

where they have a strong brand name recognition base. Yunker (2007) says, Starbucks,

in the fourth quarter of the 2007 fiscal year, has opened its first store in Moscow, Russia.

Russia is one of the largest and most rapidly developing countries in Europe. This type of

growth presents an opportunity for international expansion for Starbucks.

According to Starbucks gossip (2006), Starbucks plans to open their first store in

Sao Paulo, Brazil. This will be done through a joint venture company, called Starbucks

Brazil Comercio de Cafes. Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producing country and

coffee is widely drunk it Brazil. It also is the largest market in Latin America.


In Starbuck’s annual report, Starbucks largest competitors are McDonald’s,

Dunkin Donuts, Dietrich’s coffee, Pete’s coffee, Tully’s coffee, and Caribou Coffee

Company, Inc. However, there is also the threat of substitution which includes everything

consumers drink that does not involve going to a Starbucks. This can be as simple as a

consumer brewing their own pot of coffee at home, getting a cup of coffee from a gas
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station or simply drinking tea, soda, milk, and water. The switching cost for the consumer

is virtually nonexistent because there are other options for the consumer to choose from.

SWOT Analysis

Starbucks global presence provides the organization with widespread brand

recognition and a strong customer base. Currently, the company is extremely strong, and

has numerous opportunities. However, just as there are constant new opportunities that

Starbucks can observe, assess, and experiment with, there are frequent threats as well.

Each of these threats has to be taken seriously.

Starbucks must continue to recognize that our world is in a cycle of continual

change. They have to understand their company’s strengths and weaknesses in order to

evolve with their changing desires of the market. Starbucks needs to analyze their internal

issues, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, building upon their strengths, and

working through their weaknesses.

Furthermore, and most importantly, they need to focus externally and concentrate

on the wants and needs of their customers. Starbucks needs to take advantage of all

available opportunities and protect themselves from potential threats.


With all of the competition in the coffee industry, Starbucks sets itself apart from

all other coffee manufacturers through their ability to brand their products through

product differentiation. This is Starbucks’ single greatest differentiation strength and is

the main reason why they have been able to maintain a competitive advantage over the

coffee industry.
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Starbucks has currently taken over the coffee industry in the US. Starbucks offers

a vast range of coffee drinks, bagged coffee beans, pastries, fruit drinks, and even music.

Having such a broad range of items allows Starbucks to customize their products to meet

the consumer’s demands. Along with their beverages, they have also created bottled

coffee drinks and ice creams that have added to Starbucks’ brand recognition and product

portfolio. Because of this strong brand name recognition, Starbucks has been able to

build a strong customer loyalty base.

A second strength to Starbucks is that it provides its customers an unique

atmosphere. Starbucks offers its customers a place to sit and “hang out,” complete with

comfortable lounge chairs, where music is playing, and magazines are available, as well

as wireless internet being offered at many locations. By having this comfortable

atmosphere Starbucks sets itself apart from its competitors.

A third strength to Starbucks is how it has diversified into other products other

than coffee and confections. One such example is Starbucks entrance into the music and

film industry with the creation of Starbucks Entertainment. Media Korea (2007) says that,

the company has been in the music industry since 1995, operating under the name of

“Hear Music.” Starbucks created Hear Music with Concord Music Group, and has sold

their products in their stores, creating additional revenue for their company.

A final strength of Starbucks is that it is one of Fortune Top 100 Companies to

Work For in 2005 (SWOT Analysis: Marketing Teacher, 2000-2007). Starbucks provides

their employees with great benefits. The company is a reported to be one of the better

companies to work for. They promote the idea of sustainability in the environment and
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they also seem to be a highly ethical company. Employees are often satisfied with the

company because it is very stable and takes good care of them.


One critical weakness that Starbucks faces is relying too heavily on the suppliers

of its products. The most critical being its source of coffee beans. While it has spent years

building up strong relationships with its coffee bean suppliers from foreign nations, any

type of disruption within its supply chain could hurt their bottom line. These disruptions

include bad crops, social, economic and political upheaval within the supplier countries.

High fuel costs and disruptions on their shipping operations are all potential weakness as

well for Starbucks. Buchanan (2007) gives an example of one of these disruptions when

he states that there will be shortage of fresh coffee beans in the winter of 2007 because of

smaller coffee harvest in Brazil.

Another example of a single and shortsighted weakness within the Starbucks

supply chain is the Italian supplier of its espresso machines. This company service

machines for both its daily operations and those sold within its retail stores for its

consumers. This particular small supplier is currently the sole source for all of the

Starbucks espresso machines and parts. This supplier is vulnerable to the same threats as

the other suppliers and recently had production problems due to the high demands of

Starbucks. Briefly, this company had troubles keeping up with the demands of the

Starbucks Company. While it was eventually able to catch up, this shortage did have an

adverse affect on Starbuck’s new store openings and operations for a short time.

Another weakness of Starbucks that has to be considered is its cultural

associations with the West (in particularly America). The company has expanded their
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business into many countries throughout the world. Recently, Beijing, the capital of

China, announced that some of their people wanted Starbucks out of their country

(Beijing, 2007). Starbucks sees China as its most potential market, so the company

thought they should expand into it. However, the Chinese people do not drink very much

coffee. Instead of drinking coffee, they drink tea, which is the most common beverage in

China. Starbucks is, therefore, promoting a product that does not appeal to the people

they are trying to target. This promotion backfired on them and now groups of people in

China want the company out of their country. The people of China also want Starbucks

out of their country because they view Starbucks as an American company. They do not

want to lose their culture to American companies, such as Starbucks.


With Starbucks continuous growth, many opportunities have surfaced for the

company. In fact, Starbucks has already acquired over 40% of the specialty coffee

market, which accounts for 15% of the US market retail of coffee. Starbucks appears to

be bound for further growth and expansion in the future.

Starbucks has recently signed an agreement with the wine and spirit group Jim

Bean Brands to develop and market a Starbucks branded coffee liqueur drink

(Datamonitor, 2005). Liqueurs flavored with coffee represent a good share of the liqueur

market, and this new product line will expand its product mix. It will also attract new

customers and significantly increase revenues.

Starbucks also has to continue utilizing their opportunities of entering the global

market. The company wants to expand in areas such as Brazil, India, and Russia

(Datamonitor, 2005). As mentioned earlier, Starbucks believes Brazil and Russia could
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be great markets for them. The company is focusing on the cities where the company has

a lot of room for growth.


Although Starbucks has experienced many opportunities and much growth

throughout its history, there are many potential threats that the company has to be aware

of. “The supply and prices of coffee experience high volatility. The company’s

requirements for quality standard coffee exposes it to multiple factors in the producing

countries, including weather, political and economic conditions which may adversely

affect the company’s business. Green coffee prices have been affected in the past, and

may be affected in the future” (Datamonitor, 2005).

The world coffee market is very competitive and is growing. The specialty coffee

market has had many new entrants in recent years. As mentioned before, Starbucks’

major competitors include McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Tim Holton’s. Any of these

competitors with operating, marketing, and financial resources could enter this market at

any time and compete directly against Starbucks. Starbucks is aware of their competition

and seems to be planning accordingly (Datamonitor, 2005).

The company also faces threats of rising dairy costs. Raw milk price is increasing

day after day. Milk and other dairy products represent between 3-5% of Starbuck’s sales

and sustained increase in prices could affect the company’s profit (Datamonitor, 2005).

Marketing Strategy
Target Market Strategy

Starbucks bases its overall marketing strategy on providing their customers with

an unique experience. The company found that its customers come not only for its coffee
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but for the atmosphere that Starbucks provides. Its customers come to talk with friends,

read, study, listen to music, enjoy a quick snack, and drink their coffee. Thus Starbucks

focuses on the image that it projects to the public. It wants each store to be comfortable

and unique yet still feel like a coffee shop, a place where customers enjoy coming to and

stay longer than they plan. (Kembell, 2002).

Starbucks main target market is people who are educated and tend to read more

than average. But although their typical customer tends to be more educated their website

says that, “Starbucks customers are people of diverse ethnic, income, and age groups with

varying tastes and interests.” (

However, recently, Starbucks has begun “inadvertently” appealing to a younger

demographic. This younger demographic includes students who are in junior high and

high school. Some critics even think that the company is targeting children in an attempt

get them as customers when they are young. This would give Starbucks a secure future

because as this generation continues to grow older, they will continue to do business with

Starbucks. Starbucks denies that they are targeting children but, as critics point out, they

continue to sell products that appeal to children. (Adamy, 2006).

Overall Starbucks tries to reach its customers wherever they might be. Whether

they are shopping, driving to work, or taking a leisurely day off Starbucks wants a

convenient location nearby. If the customer does not like stopping by its retails stores,

they offer ways to order their products online and through the mail. Even if an individual

does not drink coffee, Starbucks offers other products such as tea. Starbucks tries to

appeal to as many people as they possibly can with quick and easy-to-use channels.

Marketing Mix
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Starbucks offers its customers a broad array of products to try and satisfy many of

its customers various needs and wants. These products that they offer include coffee, tea

cappuccinos, CD’s, DVD’s, books, ice cream, and coffee accessories. However with all

these different products Starbucks main focus is on their coffee.

Starbucks offers its customers a, “fresh rich-brewed Italian style espresso.”

(Kembell 2002). These espressos are made of high quality coffee beans whose

purchasing and roasting are oversaw by Starbucks employees. Furthermore each espresso

is required to have a “thick, uniform cream at the top of [the] Espressos, strong flavor that

is maintained … [so] that the freshness of the beverage stays longer while undesirable

flavors are minimized.” (Kembell, 2002). Starbucks believes that these requirements are a

major part of their appeal. They think that the less they satisfy these requirements the less

likely the customer will want to go there. They also use many different types of coffee

such as Colombia Narino Supremo, and Café Verona to appeal to a broad range of


In addition to coffee Starbucks also serves tea. Tazo Tea, based out of Portland

Oregon, supplies the company with many premium and herbal teas as well as tea

accessories. Starbucks chose to acquire this company in 1999 because it wanted to attract

a different demographic of customers. A lot of people who did not drink coffee could not

come to Starbucks. Starbucks saw that they were excluding some consumers. After

finding out that these consumers who will not drink coffee usually drink something very

similar such as tea, they decided to start selling it. (Kembell, 2002).
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At Starbucks stores they offer a variety of pastries and confections to satisfy their

customers need for a snack. These snacks are there so the customer can have something

to eat with their drink. Or if that customer is late for work and forgot to eat breakfast,

they can grab something quick to eat while they are getting their coffee. In the Seattle

area Starbucks has also begun selling Top Pot Donuts at their store. Many of the

customers in that area enjoy these donuts and Starbucks chose to make this part of their

pastries and confection section. Top Pot Donuts is the only non-Starbucks product that

the company sells and they chose to break their company policy to include it in their

store. (Shultz, 2005).

Starbucks has whole and ground up coffee beans available for its customers to

purchase. They sell these beans for both drip coffee and for espresso machines. Starbucks

also sells sweets and chocolates. The sweets include after-coffee mints and lollipops.

They decided to include chocolate in their products, such as gift boxes and chocolate

bars, because chocolate and coffee often compliment each other. When one is bought the

other one is often bought with it.

At each Starbucks store there is coffee related accessories and equipment

available. These include accessories such as espresso machines, stainless steal coffee

filters, cleaners, and canisters. (Kembell, 2002).However Starbucks is having a hard time

finding ways to sell these products. They are often at high prices and the customers who

usually come into the store do not need the products. They come to Starbucks because

they enjoy coming and they do not want to spend the much money on an espresso

machine. It appears that these products are being targeted to people who do not want

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Starbucks bases its whole appeal on the environment that it provides for its

customers. It feels so strongly about this that it actually is part of the product that

Starbucks is selling. Starbucks believes that its customer do not just come in just to drink

their coffee, but to come in, sit down, read, talk, listen to music, study, and drink coffee.

There are even conversation topics on the side of each cup so that when they do sit down

they have something to talk about. The customers are buying the experience that

Starbucks provides with the product. This includes quick service, satisfied employees

serving the customers, access to the internet, and an aroma that smells like a coffee

house. They are so committed to having their stores feel and smell like a coffee house

that they even prohibit their employees from wearing perfume and cologne because it

takes away the aroma of the coffee. In addition to these things Starbucks makes sure that

they are environmentally friendly so that it also adds to their image that they are

promoting. (Kembell, 2002).

Other products that Starbucks sells are ready to drink coffee and premium coffee

ice cream. They also sell music on CD’s, and DVD’s at its stores. The music is part of the

Starbucks experience and they have playing in the background of their stores while the

customer is drinking their beverage.


Starbucks is the biggest coffee retailer in the world. It operates in a global

community with about 13,000 stores in 36 international countries; however most of their

stores are in the US. Typically their stores are in high traffic, high-visibility location with

the average building size of 1,500 square feet. This includes office building, shopping
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malls, grocery stores, and retail centers. By having their stores these locations it allows

them to attract a high number of pedestrian traffic. (Kembell, 2002).

In addition to distributing their product they also have agreements with other

companies that help out with the distribution of some of there products. Starbucks

controls the majority of its coffee sourcing, roasting, and distribution to its retail stores.

But when another company, who shares Starbucks values, can provide additional avenues

to reaching customer, they often will establish a relationship with them. This is in an

effort to reach more of their customers wherever they are. (Kembell, 2002). If a company

has a popular retail space, Starbucks will license their operations to them. This is often

the case at supermarkets, such as Albertson and Safeway, where Starbuck cafés are in

their store.

They also have a licensing agreement with Kraft Foods Inc. In this agreement

Kraft has the rights to distribute and market their whole and ground up coffee beans

throughout the United States grocery stores. Another agreement that Starbucks has is

with PepsiCo, Inc. who distributes their ready to drink coffee products; they also have an

agreement with Dreyers Grand Ice Cream, Inc. that distributes their coffee ice cream. The

PepsiCo, Inc. and the Dreyers agreements are both 50-50 joint ventures. (Kembell, 2002).

Starbucks coffee beans and coffee accessories are also sold through mail order

and off of the internet. It provides these distribution methods for the convenience of its

customer. The products through mail order and the internet are all sold in its retail stores

but Starbucks has this avenue to satisfy all of its customers.

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Starbucks has typically promoted its products through less traditional advertising

than other companies of their size. They rely on print ads and on their image in movie

and television placement to promote their products. They also do not advertise through

television. They do not create commercials because they think that their customers read

more than average and they do not think television ads would have a big impact on their

target market. They also have found they have more success on advertising on local

levels that at national levels, in which they use their print ads to appeal to their customers.

The company believes that they will be able to better reach consumers through print ads

and billboards. (Kembell, 2002).

But more importantly Starbucks believes that its marketing strategy needs to

create an emotional connection with its customers. That it needs to be authentic and reach

people in their hearts. Shultz, chairman of Starbucks said recently that, “ It’s not good

enough to have a good ad, but everything you do helps complete the circle… the

packaging, the community involvement, the service all help build that emotional

connection.” (Schultz, 2005).So far it has been this philosophy that has built Starbucks

into what it is today.

Starbucks has, however, begun to look into more traditional marketing for the

future. They have hired a company called, Wieden + Kennedy to create and advertising

program. This program will not involve television ads but it does include other channels

that “are consistent and compatible with the equity” of the Starbuck brand. (Shultz,


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Starbucks prices are more expensive than most of their competitors. They focus

more on the quality of their beverages and the experience that their customers get than

the actual price. They think that their customers buy their products not because of their

price but because of their relationships they have with their customers. It is a “balance

between profitability and social consciousness and sensitivity.” (Shultz, 2005).

Implementation, Evaluation, and Control

Marketing Research

Starbucks is constantly working on the research and development of its

new products. It is also continuously looking for ideas to make the Starbuck experience

more enjoyable for its customers.

One of these ideas that was introduced in November of 2001 is the Starbuck card.

The Starbuck card is a store value card that can be given as gifts and it is used to reduce

time spent paying for drinks. So far this card has been a success and “contributes to the

overall enhancement of customer’s experience.”

Another idea that was implemented to save on the amount of time it took to make

drinks involves ice scoops. Engineers at Starbucks notice that baristas had to take two

scoops of ice when making a venti-size cold beverage. They went back and redesigned

the ice scoop. Once the stores started using the new scoops it cut off about 14 seconds

from the preparation time of the drink. This was in an effort to make sure that the

company hits its goal of getting the drink to its customers in three minutes or less. (Gray,


Starbucks is always looking for new ways to improve their services to their

customers. If a customer has a problem or a comment they can turn it into the comment
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page off of their company’s website. By doing this the company has customer feedback

to all of its new ideas and products.

Organizational Structure and Plan

Starbucks “has avoided a hierarchical organization structure and has no formal

organizational chart,” for its company. (Kembell, 2002). It views its employees as

partners and has outstanding employee benefits and stock ownership programs for its

employees. The culture that Starbucks has created is relaxed and supportive. It makes

such a huge effort to take care of its employees because it believes that its employees are

a big part of their success.

Financial Projections

Starbucks is a very profitable organization. Their net income and revenues have

increased every year since the company’s beginning. Last year, Starbucks earned over

$564 million and generated revenues of over $7.7 billion. The regression below shows

nearly 100% of R square. This means that the results are almost 100 % reliable.

Regression Statistics
Multiple R 0.995857675
R Square 0.991732508
Adjusted R
Square 0.988976678
Standard Error 188198.8644
Observations 5

Net income
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$300,000,000 S e rie s 1



2002 2003 2004 2005 2006





Linear (Series1

In addition to this, Starbucks’ 2006 return on equity which reveals how much

profit a company earned in comparison to the total amount of shareholder equity found

on the balance sheet. For the last few years the ROE has been above industry average.
SBUX McDonald’s Wendy’s Tim Holton’s
Dec 31 2006 25.32% 22.93% 10.88% 48.27%

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
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Dec 31 2005 23.65% 17.18% 3.45% 20.07%

Dec 31 2004 15.79% 16.04% 16.94% N/A
According to this of data, we can expect that the company will continue to

generate even more revenue and net income in the future.


Starbucks has become the most successful coffee chain in the world. Its multiple

stores throughout the world generate great amounts of revenue. Their high quality

merchandise and excellent customer service are the reasons why Starbucks is so

successful today. Despite its many competitors, Starbucks continues to flourish

throughout the world. The large amount of stores throughout the world makes it easier to

compete with competitors.

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• Buchanan, S. (2007, March 12). Coffee Roasters Stock Up. The Wall Street Journal,

pp C6.

• Gray, S. (2005, April 12). Coffee on the Double. The Wall Street Journal. pp B1

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