Starbucks says recent performance 'not acceptable,' outlines growth initiatives
Starbucks announced a set of strategic priorities and corresponding operational initiatives to accelerate growth and create long-term shareholder value. Starbucks details three strategic priorities to regain revenue and earnings momentum: Accelerating growth in the U.S. and China, the company's targeted long-term growth markets; Expanding and leveraging the global reach of the brand through the Global Coffee Alliance; and sharpening the focus on increasing shareholder returns. "While certain demand headwinds are transitory, and some of our cost increases are appropriate investments for the future, our recent performance does not reflect the potential of our exceptional brand and is not acceptable. We must move faster to address the more rapidly changing preferences and needs of our customers," said CEO Kevin Johnson. Starbucks is optimizing its U.S. store portfolio at a more rapid pace in FY19, including shifting new company-operated store growth to underpenetrated markets, slowing licensed store growth, and increasing the closure of underperforming company-operated stores in its most densely penetrated markets to approximately 150 in FY19 from a historical average of up to 50 annually. In FY19, this will result in a slightly lower growth rate in net new company-operated stores. Starbucks is actively expanding the breadth and depth of digital relationships with current and new customers. The company has added 5 million new digitally registered customers since April 2018 and 2 million active Starbucks Rewards members year-over-year to 15 million, up 13% from the previous year. In FY19, the company expects newer digital initiatives to contribute one to two points of comp growth in the U.S., supported by a redesigned Starbucks Rewards program that provides customers more choice around redemptions and payment, as well as expanded personalization capabilities for customers that have a digital relationship with the company.