The Motley Fool Previous Page Starbucks' New Wavelength [Special] May 11, 2004

David Gardner and Tom Gardner
May 11, 2004

David and Tom Gardner recently interviewedStarbucks(Nasdaq: SBUX)Chairman Howard Schultz onThe Motley Fool Radio Showon NPR. This is the second of five parts.

TMF: Howard, you are experimenting with allowing customers to burn their own music CDs in-store. How did you arrive at this idea and what might it say about where Starbucks is going?

Schultz: We are very, very excited about the evolution of the Starbucks experience and specifically what has happened over the last couple of years with music. With [Hewlett-Packard(NYSE: HPQ)] as our partner, we are burning CDs in our new format store in Santa Monica.  The expectations we had were fairly modest going in. We just didn't know and have blown the doors off. It has only been open four weeks, but we have plans now to integrate CD burning in many, many Starbucks stores in the near future. 

What I think in terms of your question, we want to leverage and enhance the experience our customers are having in our stores. We want to surprise and delight them, but at the same time, we do not want to do anything that would dilute the integrity of the coffee experience. What we have learned over the years is our customers that come to Starbucks see it in many ways as an oasis to get away from all the noise, and we have to preserve that experience. 

TMF: And you have used the phrase "experience" a lot now. The evolutio