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Entries in Starbucks (37)

Thursday
May192011

Dwarf Barista Sues Starbucks

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(EL PASO, Texas) -- The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against Starbucks on behalf of a woman who claims she was fired from the coffee chain because she is a dwarf.

According to the El Paso Times, the lawsuit claims Elsa Sallard was hired as a barista at a Starbucks in El Paso, Texas, in July 2009 and fired three days after requesting a stool or small step ladder to help her prepare beverages. The El Paso Times reports that, according to the lawsuit, Sallard was fired after Starbucks claimed she would be a danger to fellow employees and customers. The lawsuit claims Starbucks failed to provide reasonable accommodations.

Starbucks did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar092011

Starbucks Begins Rolling Out New Logo in Time for 40th Birthday

Starbucks(NEW YORK) -- Starbucks turns 40 years old this month and to celebrate, the world's largest coffee chain began rolling out its new logo Tuesday.

The new logo was unveiled in January and features a much simpler design than its predecessor.  It loses the words "Starbucks" and "Coffee" and consists solely of the Melusine, a two-tailed, mermaid-like figure that has been part of the logo from the beginning.

Since first setting up shop in Seattle on March 30, 1971, Starbucks has grown to operate in 55 countries and serve an estimated 60 million customers.

The coffee chain has also expanded its menu over the years, adding food items, which accounts for "about 20 percent of our business and growing," according to company CEO Howard Schultz.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan192011

Starbucks Begins Accepting Mobile Payments

Photo Courtesy - Starbucks(SEATTLE) -- The next time you go to Starbucks to buy a cup a coffee, just wave your cell phone at the cash register to pay for it.

The coffeehouse chain announced Wednesday customers can use a new app on their smartphones to make purchases.  The Starbucks Card Mobile app is available to Blackberry and iPhone users and works in place of a Starbucks Card after customers enter their card numbers onto the app.  The app then generates a barcode, which can be scanned at checkout.

The mobile method of payment will be available at over 7,500 Starbucks stores across the U.S., including those located in Target stores.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan172011

Starbucks to Offer New Supersized Trenta Cup

Photo Courtesy - Starbucks Coffee Company(SEATTLE) -- Coffee addicts have a new reason to celebrate -- Starbucks announced Sunday it will begin offering a new menu item: the 31-ounce Trenta cup.

The new size is seven ounces larger than the current Venti and will be used exclusively for iced coffee, iced tea and lemonade beverages, the company said in a press release.

For a lucky few, Tuesday is the day to supersize your favorite coffee treat. That's when Arizona, Texas, Florida and 14 other states will roll out the new size, followed by California on Feb. 1. The rest of the country will have to wait until May 3, when all of the coffee shops in the U.S. will begin serving the Trenta.

The Trenta will be an average of 50 cents more than the Venti, the next largest size.

Starbucks Corp has unveiled a variety of changes over the past several months as they step up to fend off their latest competition, McDonald's McCafe. In 2009, the world's largest fast-food chain took a new approach to their menu and offered a variety of coffee-house-style beverages, including frappes, fruit smoothies, and lattes at much cheaper prices than Starbucks' equivalents.

But Starbucks continues to stay ahead of the curve. The company is going over plans to begin serving regional wine and beer and artisan cheeses, and redesign the locations for a cozier and greener vibe, according to a new prototype by Starbucks executives.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan122011

Study: Best Policy is to Ask First Before Changing Company Logo

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.) – When companies change their logo, it is most likely to upset customers that are most loyal to the brand, a study conducted at Penn State found. Researchers took a look at how consumers reacted to logo redesigns, and found that poor reaction to a change can lead to bad numbers for a business.

The study, called Do Logo Redesigns Help or Hurt Your Brand? The Role of Brand Commitment, surveyed 632 undergraduate students and had them look at a change in two famous logos on the market—Adidas and New Balance. Researchers had a professional graphic designer create two new logos for those companies, and found that those respondents who were highly loyal to the brand before the change did not like the new logos. However, individuals who were not originally loyal to the brand were receptive to the new designs.

The main finding of the study was that customers feel personal connections to brands, and that when logos change, they feel a sense of betrayal. Take for example, Gap. The company changed its iconic logo in October 2010, only to be bombarded with ridicule on Facebook and Twitter. Just days later, Gap reverted to the original logo.

 "Most companies presume that their most precious customers -- those having strong brand commitment -- will be more accommodating to changes," the study reads. "Our results show this is likely a mistaken assumption -- one that can alienate the core, the most committed of a brand's customers."  

The best way to tackle change, the researchers found, is to ask the most loyal customers first for input. If they feel like they have an inside track to what’s happening, they will be more likely to respond positively when a change does occur.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan062011

Coffeehouse Gambles on New Logo, Drops 'Starbucks' and 'Coffee'

Photo Courtesy - Starbucks Coffee Company(NEW YORK) -- This week, Starbucks, commemorating its 40th birthday, unveiled a new logo that loses the words "Starbucks" and "Coffee" and consists solely of the Melusine, a two-tailed, mermaid-like figure that has been part of the logo from the beginning.

The change has prompted a significant outcry from the faithful, increased chatter around the worldwide water cooler and caused marketing, media and design professionals everywhere to begin spontaneously spouting their opinions.

Some are screaming "Change it back," while others are scratching their heads trying to figure out why a company would take its name off the masthead. Judging from the initial press, a minority of people believe it could be a good idea.

The controversy is easy to understand on the surface. Starbucks is, after all, the largest coffeehouse chain in the world. There are 11,000 stores in the United States alone and another 7,000 spread throughout 50 other countries.

The brand is built on the powerful and unique relationship the company has built with its consumers by catering to their coffee nuances with an army of 150,000 baristas.

To tens of thousands of its customers, Starbucks' messing with the logo may amount to challenging a personal preference by fiddling with the familiar. But, as a business move, it is bold and defensible.

Each time Starbucks has made a significant change -- adding espresso beverages and going public -- it has updated its logo.

Now, at 40, the company has decided to position itself to expand outside of coffee and tea as a focus, perhaps even adding wine and beer after hours. In post-recession America, companies willing to take on risks to spur growth by reinventing themselves are still a rare commodity.

Many people are comparing the Starbucks logo change to the Gap fiasco of October when the retailer buckled to consumer backlash against its new logo and reverted back to the familiar blue box. The differences are significant.

The Starbucks logo was introduced front and center by CEO Howard Shultz, who explains the company's move in its website video as an evolution, pointing out that it embraces and respects the heritage of the old logo and noting how it leads changes in the company's direction.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov042010

Food Prices on the Rise

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Food sellers will be forced to pass on the rising cost of food to consumers after a year that saw the lowest food prices in nearly two decades, reports the Wall Street Journal.

As inflation sets in, supermarkets and restaurants have had to raise costs to make up for a sharp rise in the cost of staple products. 

Companies like McDonald's Corp., Kellogg Co., and Kroger Co. have signaled that consumers will begin to pay more for their products due to the higher price of ingredients.

Even Starbucks -- which announced in August it would stave off price increases -- said it plans to boost the cost of hard-to-make drinks.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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