Retailers, consumers and prices
Perhaps he woke up one day and smelled his own coffee shops struggling in the weak economy. So, Starbucks Corp Chief Executive Howard Schultz is waking up to a fresh brew by percolating new business in the media world.
Starbucks has become the official naming sponsor of CNBC’s “Morning Joe” television show. The move is a throwback to the 1950s, when television programs were underwritten by manufacturers ranging from soap to cigarettes, and it comes as traditional advertising dollars are shrinking for publishers, television networks and other ad-reliant businesses.
Schultz, who has made his own headlines over the years, also is an investor in TheWrap.com, a celebrity news blog based in Los Angeles, through Maveron, a venture capital firm he co-founded with Dan Levitan.
We thought you might be interested in some comments from today’s chat with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
Schultz told Reuters he hopes to bring out decaffeinated Via instant coffee this year. What was his drink of choice as he visited with us in Chicago? Colombian Via, which made its debut on Tuesday.
He admitted that “people might trade down on a size or come less often as a result of the economy.” But he says Starbucks is a place where people also seek refuge and a break.
Late on Wednesday, Starbucks said it would slash U.S. coffee store openings through 2011 as it adjusts to slower U.S. growth.
The coffee giant blamed the domestic housing crisis for a significant quarter-over-quarter deterioration in U.S. customer traffic and said it saw early signs of a potential traffic slowdown in the United Kingdom, which may be related to economic problems there.