Starbucks Rolls Out Customer-Focused Changes

Loyalty card, new machines headline plans to jolt coffee giant
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2008 2:46 PM CDT
Starbucks Rolls Out Customer-Focused Changes
Baristas participate in espresso training at Starbucks in New York, February 26, 2008.   (AP Photo)

A customer-loyalty card, a new website and upgraded brewing machines highlighted changes in store at Starbucks, the Wall Street Journal reports, with CEO Howard Schultz using today's annual meeting to re-focus the firm on quality of customer experience. The card will offer rewards for regulars at the coffee giant, which aims for a social-networking flavor with its new internet presence.

The firm will also purchase the Seattle-based manufacturer of a specialty coffee machine that will allow it to sell higher-end brews. Schultz, who returned for a second stint amid efforts to boost tanking stock prices, apologized to shareholders: "I humbly recognize and share … your disappointment in how the company has performed,” he said. “I promise you, this will not stand." (Read more Starbucks stories.)

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