Fewer U.S. customers and venti-sized costs for closing poorly performing stores led to lower sales and profit in the fourth quarter at Starbucks Corp., the company said Monday.
Seattle-based Starbucks said profit fell 97 per cent to US$5.4 million, or a penny a share, from $158.5 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier. The coffee retailer earned 10 cents per share when the costs from closing about 600 stores in the U.S. and 61 locations in Australia are excluded.
Last summer I visited a single location independent coffee shop and got in to a conversation with the owner. 2 blocks away from a Starbucks. All it took for him to make a go of it were 2 things, entry level good cup ofcoffee for 60% of the price at Starbucks and the secret weapon.... Freewifi. I guess sometimes a brand, no matter how powerful it might be perceived to be, can have a critical weak point.
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