Decent Essays
REV: JULY 10, 2006


Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service
In late 2002, Christine Day, Starbucks’ senior vice president of administration in North America, sat in the seventh-floor conference room of Starbucks’ Seattle headquarters and reached for her second cup of toffee-nut latte. The handcrafted beverage—a buttery, toffee-nut flavored espresso concoction topped with whipped cream and toffee sprinkles—had become a regular afternoon indulgence for Day ever since its introduction earlier that year.
As she waited for her colleagues to join her, Day reflected on the company’s recent performance.
While other retailers were still reeling from the post-9/11 recession, Starbucks was enjoying its
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But I believed that people needed another place, a place where they could go to relax and enjoy others, or just be by themselves. I envisioned a place that would be separate from home or work, a place that would mean different things to different people.
A few years later, Schultz got his chance when Starbucks’ founders agreed to sell him the company. As soon as Schultz took over, he immediately began opening new stores. The stores sold whole beans and premium-priced coffee beverages by the cup and catered primarily to affluent, welleducated, white-collar patrons (skewed female) between the ages of 25 and 44. By 1992, the company had 140 such stores in the Northwest and Chicago and was successfully competing against other small-scale coffee chains such as Gloria Jean’s Coffee Bean and Barnie’s Coffee & Tea.
That same year, Schultz decided to take the company public. As he recalled, many Wall Street types were dubious about the idea: “They’d say, ‘You mean, you’re going to sell coffee for a dollar in a paper cup, with Italian names that no one in America can say? At a time in America when no one’s drinking coffee? And I can get coffee at the local coffee shop or doughnut shop for 50 cents? Are you kidding me?’”2
Ignoring the skeptics, Schultz forged ahead with the
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