Monday, March 07, 2011

Innovation in Recessions

Starbucks claims to have had several.
Q: Was the decline due to the recession, or was it Starbucks failing to gauge consumers?

A: There was a dramatic change in consumer behavior. On a parallel track, Starbucks has to assume responsibility for decisions that were made. There were self-induced mistakes. But the last quarter (first fiscal quarter of 2011) was the best quarter in our 40-year history. When our back was against the wall, we were able to do our best work.

Q: In the depths of the recession, was there a moment you thought the Starbucks empire could implode?

A: I don't want to seem arrogant, but I always believed that Starbucks would be able to weather the storm. We certainly had challenging moments. But there was not one single moment when I thought we couldn't overcome the challenges. I have a book coming out at the end of March about the last two years of our transformation, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul.

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