Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Store Changes

Retail stores often make changes to spur sales.  Sometimes changes work; sometimes not.

For example, J.C. Penney recently tried to increase sales by changing from offering low prices with coupons to offering "everyday low prices" without coupons.  JCP's customers, who like coupons, reject the change and the store's sales are way down.

Another change, for which I predict success, is Starbucks new offering of individually-brewed coffee using various beans from around the world.  Even better, they are making the coffee with the Clover machine which produces exceptional quality.

Today, I had coffee from Nicaragua.  It was delicious.  A rich, thick taste like liquor.  Tomorrow, I plan to try beans from Malawi.  There are about a dozen different types of beans available.

Starbucks started years ago as a business devoted to enjoying real coffee.  It later degenerated into a place where people get syrupy, coffee-flavored milk drinks.  This new change is a return to the company's roots.

Have any of your favorite stores changed?  For better or worse?


  1. I'm not a coffee drinker so I'm one of those Starbucks hot chocolate kind of gals! A few of my favourite restuarants have recently undergone new management and I always find there's an adjustment period- some things are better, some worse.

  2. I am super glad to hear this as I'm a long time fan of coffee (and starbucks). I like my syrupy drinks with mint flavor and whole milk, but I also love a cup of coffee so good it doesn't need sugar or milk. I once had some handpoured coffee at an art gallery opening (and boy, does that make me feel pretentious), but I slurped it like everyone else was downing the liquor available.

    I also really loved when the average starbucks began carrying breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal. Many starbucks carry meals in bigger cities, but my little town starbucks is mostly for the drive-through.

    All Saints, my fave clothing retailer, changed their "archive" (clearance/past season stock) to a separate URL that you linked to from their main site. I liked the option because they also seemed to have an expanded inventory. Suddenly they switched it back to the main site because the checkouts did not go through the same place and I assume was causing problems. But suddenly all that inventory disappeared and when the archives returned, they were drastically reduced. Not a big deal to people who shop retail prices, but for someone like me who pretty much always buys on sale - a bit disappointing. Not to mention I'm not a huge fan of their current season anyway.

  3. This is something I've seen with chocolates - all beans from one country! It also makes you feel more ethical somehow (or is that just me?) to know where your food is coming from. And feeling ethical is definitely a sales booster :)

  4. Homemade french pressed black coffee with fabulous flavor from dark, oily beans... it's all I'll drink. (Not totally true, the tiny coffee house in our neighborhood has a few baristas who make an amazing cortado. No sugar, though.) I'm glad to hear Starbucks is beginning a program like this. I may actually start popping in every once in a while to sample a few.
    I actually quit shopping almost everywhere retail for clothing when vanity sizing started. I remember distinctly loving Gap's Long and Lean jean when it just came out and my awkward baby giraffe legs actually fit into their smallest women's size (aaaand they had a :long" option). Now I search high and low for a 00, which is ridiculous, and stick to skinny styles where it doesn't matter that it's 1" too short. It is a real problem in flare styles. I hate how illogical the proportions of garments are these days.

  5. Hey, not sure if Starbucks in Canada has made that change. I was there yesterday and I didn't notice that. Since we're talking about coffee one good thing that's happened up here is that Tim Horton's is not accepting Visa lol!!

    1. Not every Starbucks store has made the change. It seems about half of them here have, usually the larger stores with greater traffic and space.

      The effort is to lure back customers like me who were originally attracted to Starbucks for the coffee. As the company expanded, they seemed to have lost their focus on that.

  6. i'm not a fan of coffee, so i don't that starbucks has change. but, i'm a fan of pizza, and pizza hut change their concept a view months ago. i like the new one. the restaurant look so much clean and nice than before :)

  7. sorry typo: "i don't know that starbuck has change".

  8. So.. have you tried the ones from Panama ?

  9. I like the syrupy, coffee-flavored milk drinks. The frozen ones, anyway. I love me a Java Chip Frappucino. I don't like Starbucks coffee. Too strong for me. I prefer Seattle's Best over just about every other coffee I have ever tried. SB is actually owned by Starbucks, but they maintain the SB brand.

  10. I love Nicaraguan coffee! I brought a bunch back with me when I went there six years ago, and it was some of the best coffee I ever had.