Summary of This Case in Point of International Marketing

3841 WordsMay 19, 201516 Pages
CASE 11 Starbucks—Going Global Fast The Starbucks coffee shop on Sixth Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle sits serene and orderly, as unremarkable as any other in the chain bought years ago by entrepreneur Howard Schultz. A few years ago however, the quiet storefront made front pages around the world. During the World Trade Organization talks in November 1999, protesters flooded Seattle’s streets, and among their targets was Starbucks, a symbol, to them, of free-market capitalism run amok, another multinational out to blanket the earth. Amid the crowds of protesters and riot police were black-masked anarchists who trashed the store, leaving its windows smashed and its tasteful green-and-white decor smelling of tear gas instead of espresso. Says an angry Schultz: “It’s hurtful. I think people are ill-informed. It’s very difficult to protest against a can of Coke, a bottle of Pepsi, or a can of Folgers. Starbucks is both this ubiquitous brand and a place where you can go and break a window. You can’t break a can of Coke.” The store was quickly repaired, and the protesters scattered to other cities. Yet cup by cup, Starbucks really is caffeinating the world, its green-and-white emblem beckoning to consumers on three continents. In 1999, Starbucks Corp. had 281 stores abroad. Today, it has about 5,500—and it’s still in the early stages of a plan to colonize the globe. If the protesters were wrong in their tactics, they weren’t wrong about Starbucks’ ambitions. They were just early. The story of how Schultz & Co. transformed a pedestrian commodity into an upscale consumer accessory has a fairy-tale quality. Starbucks grew from 17 coffee shops in Seattle 15 years ago to over 16,000 outlets in 50 countries. Sales have climbed an average of 20 percent annually since the company went public, peaking at $10.4 billion in 2008 before falling to

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