Coffee giant Starbucks
A global push
I had previously spoken about how CEO Howard Schultz was planning to overhaul the coffee purveyor's European operations. Last week, the company announced a series of management-level changes to its global leadership structure designed to help "accelerate its innovation and growth." The move comes as Starbucks looks to further bolster its three-region operating model to cater to the following markets:
- The Asia-Pacific and China region
- The Americas, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Latin American countries
- The EMEA region -- where operations have remained sluggish
The strategy should help the company focus on each region more closely, as Starbucks looks toward greater innovation and increased profitability in each of them. Coming back to the management reshuffle, Arthur Rubinfeld was appointed the chief creative officer and president, Global Development and Evolution (Fresh Retail), and Craig Russell took over from Dub Hay as the senior vice-president of Global Coffee.
The problem at hand
The management changes are one thing, but how can Starbucks tackle the problem it faces in Europe? It's not as if competition is eating away at Starbucks' market share. Dunkin' Brands
The main problem is that Europe, by itself, is in the midst of turmoil, which is why consumer spending has taken a hit -- leading to faltering operations at the coffee major. Having said that, I still have faith in Howard Schultz's ability to revive Starbucks' operations. Schultz did admit that the company ignored Europe while it was trying to revive its U.S. operations. Now, apparently, the company is trying to cater to specific tastes prevalent in different European countries to help drive sales.
Starbucks, I feel, will be able to fix the European problem. As I mentioned earlier, Schultz had, in fact, said, "We've seen this movie before, and I'm proud to say it had a very good and positive ending." Cheers to that!
Don't expect a quick turnaround for Starbucks, though. It took a while to get things back on track in the U.S. and the same will apply to Europe as well. In the meantime, you can also take a look at a stock we at the Motley Fool are simply in love with. So much so, that we've called it "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." This emerging-market retailer has the most upside potential we've seen in a while. Learn more for free.