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How Starbucks Plans to Reverse Slowing Sales

By Dennis Kaiser

Starbucks Corporation believes it has found a new way into customers’ hearts, and hopefully those efforts can neutralize slowing U.S. sales. Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks, says three unique and core assets of the company are envisioned to accelerate the company’s next wave of growth. They include: increasing digital engagement, growing relevancy in China and celebrating the Starbucks Reserve brand as the company’s innovation lab for the future.

The Seattle-based coffee giant plans to open up its app, previously reserved only for loyalty program members, to all customers. The mobile-ordering system could be used more effectively to showcase products. The company estimates there are more than 60 million current U.S. customers per month who are not yet members of Starbucks Rewards. As consumers log into store WiFi networks, they will enter an email address, which will also be incorporated into the retailers’ efforts to sell, especially after the morning coffee rush is over.

Those changes come as Starbucks sets about revamping its menu to include additional lunch items, and pushes into cold beverages, a newly-developing segment. The cold category now represents roughly half of the company’s beverage sales.

Abroad, the chain is expanding in China, a market it one day predicts will overtake the U.S. as its largest. More than 5,000 stores are planned to open in China by 2021.

Starbucks is also creating a new  “Reserve” brand of high-end cafes around the world that appeal to customers willing to pay more for premium coffee and pastries.

And in an effort to double food sales by 2021, Starbucks is introducing a Mercato menu that consists of freshly-made sandwiches and salads. By the end of the year, the company expects this new menu will be available in more than 1,000 stores.


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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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