Free Starbucks Coffee: What Does This Mean for Other Shops?

So Starbucks one of the quality coffee supplier has decided to actually give away free coffee in 7,100 of its nationally known stores. What does this mean? Starbucks says it is to introduce one of their newest brew, Pike Place Roast. A lovely new blend of smooth, with no bitter or sweet after taste. It will also have a taste of roasted nut. Wow, how exciting.

According to Starbucks, they are bringing the consumer what they want. A nice down-home coffee. They want to get back in touch with the “coffee” drinkers. Not the espresso and latte crowd. The reason for this may be Starbuck’s big decline in its stock price. Or the reason for this may be that Starbucks just wants to bring some old-time coffee drinkers back into its places. Either way, it is obvious that Starbucks needs some sort of special boost, sales-wise. This may be because of all the other coffee places, and not the average places you would think to get coffee, sprouting up all around them.
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Some such places would be Dunkin Donuts, for instance. This is a place you may think of to find coffee. It happens to be GREAT coffee. Dunkin Donuts provides a coffee drinker with a normal cup of coffee. You can get different flavors, but they are all simple and good. Another great place to get a coffee or a cappuccino would be your neighborhood 7-11. Yes, that is right. Every neighborhood 7-11 serves up a great cup of coffee, and for a fraction of what you would have to pay at a Starbucks. Competition, yes I think so.

Of course, you have other places that seem to like to sprout up next to Starbucks nowadays. Places like Panera Company. There you can get all kinds of great breakfast and lunch and dinner eats as well. They also have a lot of different drinks available if coffee is not what you are in the mood for. In any event, they do serve a good cup of coffee. Just a plain old fashioned coffee.

Starbucks bought most of Barney’s. Except the independently owned. Some towns still have Barney’s around. While it is almost comparable in price, it is a competition for Starbucks. People who like Barney’s better still will. I do not think one new brand of coffee or a day of free giveaways will change that. You also have all the little mom and pop coffee houses around your neighborhood. Sometimes these places are a walk away. The convenience or the knowledge of the owner will keep these people going to them, instead of Starbucks.

Other breakfast places such as Denny’s or IHop, also offer just plain coffee. I believe that Starbucks is competing with all of these markets. Even though it seems to think it may be a bit better than most of these places mentioned, it still is competing with them. This has made it hard for them, in particular in a depressed market to thrive. Their specialty and price points make it more difficult to sell their coffees to the average joe. Let alone the more astute customer nowadays. The company needed to get back all the people who just like a regular cup of coffee, and the people who are willing to go to these, and other coffee places to get that cup of coffee.

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Will this work? Only time will tell. I believe Starbucks has already garnered its reputation as being somewhat more expensive. In this regard, even if they come out with a more “regular” blend of coffee, I do not believe it will improve sales all that much. We will see, and best of luck to them. They will still have the other good old coffee houses to contend with.

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