Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Starbucks News

Starbucks' profits fell by 97% in the last quarter as the coffee chain faced a weakening demand for lattes, americanos and skinny macchiatos. The company has had to close under-performing outlets in reaction to the news that its net profits were $5.4m, down from $158.5m a year earlier, perhaps due to a new mood of frugality amid fears of just how bad the recession will get.

I know I have curbed my Starbucks visits almost entirely. Except for today. There was a significant chill in the air and all I wanted was my ever so coveted chai tea. In my visit, I discovered a few things.

1. Starbucks Gold
Starbucks Gold is for those who visit Starbucks every day. The ones who keep the coffee chain going. An annual membership costs $25 and you receive 10% of every purchase. So, I would have saved 36 cents this morning. Big Deal. You also get a free beverage on your birthday and free wi-fi up to two hours a day. Still, not too enticing.

2. The Good Sheet
Good is a collaboration of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits pushing the world forward. They make a magazine, produce videos, curate their website and host events around the country. I picked up the 9th edition of the Good Sheet, part of a series of graphical explorations of some of the major issues that faced us this election season and still face us today.

The first 100 days is the topic this week. FDR spent his first 100 days enacting a dizzying number of reforms designed to stabilize an economically depressed nations. Since then, a president's first 100 days have been an indicator of what he is able to accomplish. In January 2009, the clock starts again.

3. The Starbucks holiday cups are back!

4. Four new signature hot chocolates now available. Let me say, they are delicious.