February 8, 2006

"I left my heart in Frappuccino"

Notes from the annual Starbucks shareholders meeting, a razzle-dazzle, stomp-your-feet, clap-your-hands get-together on Wednesday.

Crowd at McCaw 2.JPG Shultz at meeting.jpeg
Capacity crowd fills McCaw Hall; chairman Howard Schultz

Item: There are now 11,000 Starbucks stores in 37 countries.
Sounds like more than any coffee-addled person could possibly visit. Well, OK, 5 stores a day might be reasonable; would take 6 years. But you'd never catch up: they're opening 5 new stores a day. China, Brazil, Russia, India all huge untapped markets. For that matter, so are small towns across America where, to date, there's only one Starbucks.

Item: Starbucks has 125,000 employees.
If you brought them all to Seattle, they'd fill every seat in Howard's Key, Paul's Qwest Field and George's Safe with thousands more on the streets outside. If you sent them all to the Middle East, you'd have enough "partners" in green aprons to hand-deliver an iced Frappuccino to every American soldier in Iraq.

Item: stock price at all-time high, company's market cap $26 billion.
Almost as much as Weyerhaeuser and Amazon.com combined. If you'd bought $10,000 of SBUX in 1992, you'd have stock worth $650,000 today.

Item: Starbucks serves 40 million customers a week.
Average patron visits Starbucks 18 times a month. It's probably the most frequented retailer on the planet. Average revenue per store: a cool million.

Other news: upcoming products (a bottled Frappuccino, among others), feel-good reinforcement (social responsibility, "the most respected brand in the world"), winding up with a pitch for the first-ever Starbucks movie ("Akeelah and the Bee") and its ever-expanding music sideline.

With that, curtain up for a command performance by 80-year-old crooner Tony Bennett, smooth as a caramel macchiato. And yes, of course he sang "I left my heart." We'd expect nothing less.

Tony Bennett onstage1.JPG Tony Bennet AP photo.jpg
"The best is yet to come," Bennett assures SBUX shareholders.

Posted by Ronald Holden at February 8, 2006 6:53 PM

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