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Argosy M4

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This paper will discuss the strategy utilized by Starbucks, analyzing the market position, competitive advantage, external environment and will summarize the Porter’s Five Forces. Strategic issues faced by Starbucks will be discussed as well. Howard Schultz bought a Seattle coffee company in 1987 and converted the six coffee stores into an international brand today. Starbucks currently, a publicly owned company with more than 25, 000 employees and 5,689 stores in 28 countries. He is the man behind, and CEO of, Starbucks.

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...

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