Jun 9, 2024

Price hikes and boycotts: Is trouble brewing at Starbucks?

Rew Buckley, a self-described "Mocha guy", recently swore off his Starbucks habit, reeling after the firm's latest price increase sent the cost of his drink above $6. The 50-year-old, who works in tech sales in Idaho, had been a loyal customer for decades, treasuring his near-daily venti mocha as a little luxury that allowed him to stretch his legs during the work day. Former regular David White says he has stopped nearly all of his purchases with Starbucks in recent months, at times abandoning orders mid-purchase, aghast at the totals in his cart. On a conference call to discuss the firm's latest results, Starbucks chief executive Laxman Narasimhan said sales had been disappointing, citing in part more cautious customers, while acknowledging that "Recent misinformation" had weighed on sales, especially in the Middle East. Last month, YouTube comedian Danny Gonzalez apologised to his 6.5 million followers for the incidental presence of a Starbucks cup in a recent video after a backlash. Though Starbucks executives have remained relatively quiet on the topic during sales discussions, as Ms Zackfia puts it: "You'd really be putting your head in the sand not to think that it has had an effect."

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