It doesn't take a CEO to come up with smart business ideas. When I asked you if you thought Starbucks would survive the recession, many of you responded that the struggling coffee company might make it through the storm if it introduced lower prices. While the company ended 2008 by announcing a new line of tea lattes, it's already realized that surviving 2009 might take an image overhaul — and that means introducing more value-oriented products. Take a moment to pat yourselves on the back for calling that one, and read on.
First, Starbucks plans to close another 300 stores and shed about 6,000 retail and 700 nonstore jobs. Those moves should add up to significant savings for the company, and their next steps will aim to save the customer money. CEO Howard Schulz is being pretty secretive about what Starbucks has up its sleeve, but commented his company plans to start "pushing back on misconceptions about our affordability." The only hint for what is to come: In March, Starbucks will aim to offer "real value" through new "breakfast pairings at attractive price points."