Sharing some company press in today's AdAge:
Starbucks Coffee Co. has returned its No. 1 barista, founder Howard Schultz, to his former role of chief executive to perk up its sales and stock price. To differentiate its brand, Mr. Schultz said Starbucks would focus on its store "experience," one which he criticized in a memo to Jim Donald last February.
""It's time for them to evolve before the brand erodes any further," she said. Starbucks' problem is oversaturation, she said, but the company must be careful about which stores it closes, not just shuttering underperforming stores in poor neighborhoods.
Ms. Tupot, who consults for Starbucks' competitors, also said Starbucks might consider adding more local character to individual stores so that a traveler to another city might enjoy not just a predictable cup of coffee but be able to "capture the locality." While Starbucks has been careful to point out that it is not a fast-food restaurant, Ms. Tupot believes it could do well selling certain types of foods beyond cake and other sweets. For example, she said East Coast chain Le Pain Quotidien serve baguettes and spreads along with coffee and allows customers to sit at a long table and linger.
She noted one promising Starbucks initiative is its use of text-messaging, whereby customers can order drinks from a cellphone and pick them when they arrive at the store, bypassing those standing in line.