Starbucks Corporation is an American global coffee company and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the entire world. Its locations serve both hot and cold beverages, whole-bean coffee, pastries and snacks to mention but a few.
It was founded in 1971 on March 30th by Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker as a Seattle coffee bean roaster and retailer, and has grown rapidly over the years. Starbucks has 23,187 stores in 64 countries, including 12,973 in the United States, 1,897 in China, 1,550 in Canada, 1,088 in Japan and 927 in the United Kingdom.
Through the Starbucks Entertainment division, the company markets books, film and music. Many of its products are seasonal or specific. Starbucks-brand ice cream and coffee are also offered at grocery stores.
The first Starbucks café was located at 2000 Western Avenue from 1971-1976. It was later moved to 1912 Pike Place Market never to relocate again. During this time, the company sold roasted whole coffee beans and did not yet brew coffee to sell. The only brewed coffee sold was free samples.
At the time of its initial public offering (IPO) on the stock market in June 1962, Starbucks had grown to 140 outlets, with revenue of US$ 73.5 million, up from US$1.3 million in 1987. The company’s market value was US$ 271 million by this time. By September 1992, Starbucks’ share price had risen by 70% to over 100 times the earnings per share of the previous year.
Some of the methods used by Starbucks such as buying out competitors’ leases have been labeled anti-competitive by critics. These ways are unfair means to drive out small, independent competitors, who could not afford to pay inflated prices for premium real estate.
Starbucks has stood the test of time and continues to grow stronger despite its inadequacies.