Starbucks, facing flat customer growth and slumping share prices, unveiled several changes in business plan. The changes include new automatic espresso machines that allow more customer interaction; a return to custom filled, not pre-sealed, coffee bags; a new daily coffee blend; a social networking site to glean customer ideas; and new perks for Starbucks Card users. Starbucks also announced its acquisition of Coffee Equipment Co., which makes the $11,000 Clover coffee machine. (The Seattle Times)
The bottom line
March 20, 2008
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