The first Starbucks location opened in 1971. The name is inspired by Moby Dick’s first mate.


The first Starbucks location opened in 1971. The name is inspired by Moby Dick’s first mate. This name and the mermaid logo were inspired by the love of the sea, from Starbucks original location in Seattle Washington in the heart of Pike Place Market. Starting as a single shop specializing in high quality coffee and brewing products the company grew to be the largest roaster in Washington with multiple locations until the early 80’s. In 1981, current CEO Howard Schultz, recognized a great opportunity and began working with the founder Jerry Baldwin. After a trip to Italy to find new products, Schultz realized an opportunity to bring the café community environment he found in Italy to the United states and the Starbuck’s brand we know today began to take form. Selling espresso by the cup was the first test. Schultz left Baldwin to open his own Italian coffee house Il Giornale which found outrageous success and in 1987 when Starbucks decided to sell the original 6 locations, Schultz raised the money with investors and purchased the company and fused them with his Italian bistro locations.

The company experienced rapid growth going public in 1992, and growing tenfold by 1997, with locations around the United States, Japan and Singapore. Starbucks also began expanding its brand. According to George Garza in his article The history of Starbucks the following product lines were added:

• Offering Starbucks coffee on United Airlines flights.

• Selling premium teas through Starbucks’ own Tazo Tea Company.

• Using the Internet to offer people the option to purchase Starbucks coffee online.

• Distributing whole bean and ground coffee to supermarkets.

• Producing premium coffee ice cream with Dreyer’s.

• Selling CDs in Starbucks retail stores. Starbucks uses minimal advertising and has grown on word of mouth and brand recognition. According to Garza by 2004 Starbucks had reached 1,344 locations.


Updated history and Current Status

Today, according to the Starbucks website, they have 16,706 stores (as of Dec. 27, 2009) in 50 countries. In 2009 they made strives socially as they opened the Farmer Support Center in Kigali, Rwanda and became the world’s largest buyer of Fair Trade CertifiedTM coffee.


Their mission statement from the company profile is as follows:

“Our mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”

Their core competencies can be defined as high quality coffee and products at accessible locations and affordable prices, provided a community to share in the coffee drinking experience, and variety of choices. The also value ethics and good business practices and are a leader being voted one of 2010’s most ethical businesses by Ethisphere magazine for the 4th year running.

Starbucks is facing its own struggles however as it saw sales start slipping before other companies did in the recent recession. According to Melissa Allison in her article Starbucks has a new growth strategy — more revenue with lower costs, Starbucks has closed 900 stores and eliminated 34,000 jobs. Starbucks new strategy is to refocus on some of the areas that decrease risk and up front investment. This includes expanding foreign stores, with aid of partnerships that share risk and costs, selling VIA instant coffee and other products in retail and convenience stores, and reinvigorating the Seattle’s Best Brand coffee.

Starbucks in a mature stage of its lifecycle. It was founded over 20 years ago and it has experienced rapid growth in the last 2 decades. However, within the last few years its growth has slowed and has even had to close locations. They are now focusing efforts on previous endeavors and international expansion.

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