As recently as 2014, Starbucks was an incredible company with a seemingly limitless ability to drive its revenue higher and higher, no matter what was happening outside the store. Even the crash of 2008, which seemed to wipe out half the stores in existence did little to slow the company’s revenue growth. That’s remarkable, but at some point, Starbucks did a thing that it should not have and failed to do a thing that it should have. What it should not have done was attempt to shake customers down by throwing seasonal trinkets—and worse, music—in their faces while they stood in line. By entering into the music business, Starbucks grabbed at a revenue stream that would inevitably collapse due to digital distribution. What the company did not do was magnify its revenue by providing customers with real, actual food. Starbucks somehow failed even to provide much in the way of breakfast (it goes well with coffee, I hear) despite the fact that consumers are crazy about it, as was recently demonstrated by McDonald’s. Money in Starbucks is likely to do nothing for you for a very long time, at best.
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