Starbucks must revamp store experience to boost sales: Howard Schultz

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has a few words about the company he once shepherded.

While commenting on the company’s disappointing quarterly earnings, Schultz said the coffee chain needs to improve experiences in its US stores. in Share LinkedIn On Sunday night, the former chairman, who has stepped down as CEO three times, said he didn’t need ties to the company to care about its success.

“I emphasized that reforming the company had to start from within. U.S. operations are the main reason for the company’s fall from grace. Stores require an insane focus on customer experience, through the eyes of the merchant,” Schultz said. “The answer is not in the data, but in the stores.”

The coffee giant fell short of Wall Street analysts’ estimates for quarterly earnings and revenue after same-store sales declined. The company’s shares have fallen 17% since last week’s earnings report, closing at $72.90 on Monday.

Schultz urged the company to reinvent its mobile ordering and payment platform, which it launched in 2015, to make it “the great experience it was designed for.” In addition, he called on executives to reform the “go-to-market strategy” and promote coffee innovation to create market differentiation.

The chain plans to revamp the experiences in its stores

In February, Starbucks announced plans to upgrade the store experience with technology renovations at its new U.S. locations and about 1,000 renovated locations.

Among the improvements are soundproof barriers in the ceilings that reduce noise inside its warehouses. The chain said these foams will reduce noise and echoes and improve service for guests with assistive listening devices.

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The company will also add adjustable lighting in the form of dimmers and electric screens on the exterior windows to reduce glare and shadows during the day.

“New sound and lighting features help create a more enjoyable and immersive audio-visual experience for customers and partners,” the chain said in a statement to USA TODAY last month.

Related: Starbucks labor battle: The Supreme Court is preparing to support the company in the “Memphis 7” union case.

Schultz will leave the board in 2023

Schultz joined Starbucks as director of operations and marketing in 1982. He became its first CEO in 1987 after temporarily leaving the company.

In 2000, he retired as CEO for the first time and became president of the company. He later returned as CEO in 2008 amid the recession and left the position again in 2017. In 2018, he returned again as interim CEO and was appointed a member of the board in 2022.

Last year, he resigned from the board of directors and as CEO again.

more: In the wake of the Volkswagen union’s historic vote, Starbucks asked the Supreme Court to limit workers’ power

“I have not had any formal role within the company since April 2023. But my love for the company and all those who wear the ‘company cloth’ — the iconic green apron — knows no bounds,” Schultz wrote.

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