Starbucks Tries Cozying Up to Customers

May 16, 2008 09:58 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Starbucks is introducing new, customer-friendly features at its locations as the company tries to revive its ailing share price.

30-Second Summary

In an effort to combat falling stock prices and a dwindling customer base, Starbucks will soon be adding new coffee machines to their 15,000 stores, the company announced at its annual shareholder meeting.

The new coffee machines, which are smaller than the ones currently used, will make it easier for baristas to interact with customers.

The machines are just one of several customer-friendly measures Starbucks will adopt this year, including customer loyalty cards, free brewed coffee refills and a new blend of coffee.

The coffee giant has even launched a new Web site,, specifically geared towards customer feedback.

Early reactions suggest that the new measures could work to Starbucks' advantage. Bloomberg reports that some financial analysts recommend holding or buying its stock in light of the recent announcement.

Starbucks share performance has dropped 48 percent over the past year, but company founder Howard Schultz, who returned as CEO of the company in January, is urging stockholders to keep the faith.

"I humbly recognize and share both your concern and your disappointment in how the company has performed and how that has affected your investment in Starbucks and I promise you, this will not stand,” he said at the shareholders meeting.

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