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LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Starbucks New Plans to Rev Up Sales!


Buddy Formal Photograph - With a Big Smile!A Big Woof for you - one and all!

You know, in my two-and-a-half years of being a dog, I never have completely understood what humans see in that hot beverage you call coffee!  One time, I had a chance to take a sip from my Human Dad's Starbucks cup, sitting on the floor.  Black Coffee - YICK!  Would rather eat a Marrow Bone any day.

The more I hang around with other Realtors, however, human and dog alike, I am amazed at how big a role the local Starbucks plays in a Real Estate Practitioner's life.  Realtors hit the Starbucks every morning for that Double Skim Latte.  They munch on a $2 piece of coffee cake with their clients.  They set up their laptops in the corner of the coffee house to check the Daily MLS Hotsheets, before they head down to the office.

The Starbucks we frequent is about two blocks from our Basement on Western Avenue Office, in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood of Chicago.  There is a special little spot outside where we dogs have to wait for our humans to belly up to the coffee bar, and purchase their morning brew.   If there are a few of us four-pawed Realtors waiting at the same time, we often discuss Chicago market trends, as well as the latest Sales and Inventory numbers.  If there are no other dogs around,  I just sit cute until a pretty human female comes and pets me behind my ears.

Well, it seems that Starbucks is about to stir the coffee in the cup a little bit!

According to new Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, at the Annual Starbucks Shareholders Meeting this week in Seattle,  the company plans to grind its own beans once again in stores, like they used to do when the company got it's start years ago.  The aroma, you see, is a big attraction to the Starbucks Experience, many customers say.  (As for me, I only catch a quick whiff when they open the door to untie me!)

Stores are getting new highly automated espresso machine - The Mastrena.  The new machine measures out espresso shots more consistently, for a better, predictable cup of daily joe.  It is also shorter in height - and will allow Starbucks friendly baristas better interact with their customers - including those of us that by and sell real estate.

The company has also purchased a small, very upscale coffee equipment manufacturing company, also based in Seattle, and is testing their high-end, single-cup coffee maker, The Clover, in a few stores.  Their goal - the perfect cup of drip coffee.  In recent years, many consider the Starbucks cup falling to average - they used pre-measured, sealed filter packs to brew their drip coffee today.

A couple of years ago, shares of Starbucks Common Stock traded at around $90.  Shares Wednesday were trading on the NASDAQ at $17.50, at close.   Investors are hoping Starbucks changes, coupled with a reeled-in growth strategy, will improve profitability.

See Janet Adamy's article in today's Wall Street Journal (a dog's Favorite Daily Business Newspaper) for more details.  

I sold most of my Starbucks shares around $50 - but I'm still a BIG FAN of the company!  As the only Licensed IL Pekingese Real Estate Broker, I can't turn my back on the "Magic Nectar" that helps Real Estate Humans open their eyes every morning.

If you ever visit Chicago, come on up to the North Side for a cup of coffee!  Look for the Starbucks on the Southeast Corner of Lincoln and Wilson Avenues, right across the street from the Daily Bar & Grill, and the internationally-famous Old Town School of Folk Music.  You might just see me, working at my laptop researching comparable property data, from my every-morning perch outside the front door.



Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2008 8:10 PM by Dean's Team
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