It seems that, with 17,000 stores in 50 countries around the world, Starbucks, not satisfied with waning growth in North America, has decided to overhaul the "Seattle's Best Coffee" brand it acquired three years ago in Canada (eight years ago in the U.S.).
I am not a big coffee drinker, and rarely will buy a coffee at a restaurant, but have noticed and tried a Seattle's Best Coffee since this is the brand that Subway's serves, and there breakfast special, a sandwich and a coffee, is $2.99.
Apparently Starbucks has also signed deals with Burger King and AMC movie theatres to sell the Seattle's Best Coffee.
The CEO of Starbucks has set a revenue goal of one billion dollars for this division, so expect to see more and more of this "new" (to me) brand.
In Canada, Starbucks intends to have a total of eight Seattle Best Coffee "bars" open in Wal-Mart Supercentres by the end of the next year (four are open in supercentres as a pilot now). Apparently they will be set up as a walk-up window on one side and a bar to linger in on the other. Their idea is to sell Starbucks type coffees, lattes, and mochas at a slightly cheaper price than what is available at Starbucks.
I have noticed that some MacDonalds have started to sell fancy coffees, and that many Wal-marts have MacDonalds in them.
With each chain having offered various promotions, some involving free coffee, I wonder if another round of Coffee wars between MacDonalds, Tim Hortons, Country Style and Starbucks is brewing?
Chris Smith CSSBB
Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage