Profits at Starbucks go Skinny Latte

12 11 2008


Starbucks Coffee House

Starbucks Coffee House

Starbucks Share PriceProfits for the coffee chain Starbucks fell by 97% in the fourth quarter to $5.4 million, as compared to $158.5 million this time last year. Although the sales revenue were up 3% to $2.52 billion, like for like sales actually decreased by 8%.

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise then since consumers are cutting back on what they deem “luxuries” and are more cautious about their spending and are literally watching their pennies. Starbucks is perhaps well known for its high prices as much as it is for its coffee. Its share price dropped by 3% after the news broke out and was trading at $9.91. Last year, it would have been worth around $20-$30.Starbucks said that it has seen a decrease in customer traffic, in other words the number of customers visiting its branches, and also, crucially, the value of each transaction per customer. So, it is likely that the increase in sales revenue is likely to be due to the increase in prices.

Although drinking coffee is one of life’s little pleasures, its prices in the cafés are anything but little. A cup of coffee for $4 or £2.50 may seem insignificant on its own, but multiply them up for every working day of the month and you are left with a sizeable figure. Starbucks could lower its prices, but it is seen as a premium brand and would as a result devalue its brand value. Think of Marks & Spencer’s food range competing on its prices with Tesco’s Value range or Sainsbury’s Basic range and you get the picture about devaluing the brand value.

It’s likely that other coffee chains like Café Nero and Costa Coffee would now be worried about their own situation while the likes of McDonald’s will be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of attracting coffee drinkers with their cheap prices. McCoffee anyone?

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Tesco’s first half profit up 11%.

30 09 2008

Supermarket giant Tesco today announced a 11% rise in its half-year pre-tax profits which rose to £1.44 billion from £1.29 billion last year with sales rising 13% to £25.6 billion. Like-for-like sales grew by about 7% which seems very good especially since consumers are cutting back on their spending and discount retailers like Aldi, Lidl, Netto, Iceland, Wilkinsons, etc. are attracting customers from large supermarkets.

It was reported earlier this month that Tesco’s market share had decreased by 0.2% to 31.5%. However, it still has a much greater market share when compared to stores such as Aldi which has 2.9% market share which allows Tesco to benefit from economies of scale. This means it can buy its stock in relatively large numbers at lower cost which would normally allow it to increase its profit margin, but in the current financial situation, it allows Tesco to reduce its prices thereby attracting shoppers looking to reduce their grocery bills.

Tesco introduced a new discount range of about 400 products aptly named “Discount Range” with the aim to compete with discount stores and offer customers value for money. Tesco’s chief executive Sir Terry Laehy claimed that sales of its discount range was rising faster than that of Aldi or Lidl.





Credit crunch benefits Charity shops

19 08 2008

Oxfam’s annual sales reached £80million, revealed its director of trading, David McCullough, while speaking to the Mail on Sunday. Consumers are turning from retailers to discount stores and charity shops to find bargains as the crunch is leaving them with less money in their pocket. Popular items include books and dvds.

Retailers like Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s are also doing their bit to attract customers affected by the credit crunch by cutting the price of two litre bottles of milk amongst other essential items.

The credit crunch seems to be a boon in disguise for discount stores and charity shops although consumers affected by it may beg to differ.

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$143 for a Barrel of Oil

30 06 2008

The cost for a barrel of oil reached a record level of $143 today (30 June). The direct implication of this is likely to be a rise in prices of petrol and diesel. But it is not only the motorists who are going to be affected, everyone will be affected either directly or indirectly. For example, consumers are already beginning to feel the pinch as prices of day to day items such as bread, eggs, cooking oil, etc are beginning to rise. There are different reasons of this inflation in prices of which one is the rise in fuel prices. The rise in fuel prices leads to an increase in transportation costs which is added to the price of the goods and unfortunately passed on to the consumer.

It is no surprise then that last week, discount stores Aldi and Lidl announced substantial growth in like for like sales. The weekend saw a “price war” between Tesco and Asda as they tried to lend a helping hand and attract consumers already struggling with rising fuel prices and energy bills by slashing prices of everyday items by as much as 50 percent in some cases. Consumers are increasingly beginning to shop around with some using price comparison sites like mySupermarket.co.uk looking for better deals rather than just relying on one retailer. Other retailers like Sainsbury and Morrisons are also reducing prices and might also be forced to join the war by reducing prices in order to retain their customers.

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Boom for Discount Stores

25 06 2008

According to recent figures, discount stores Aldi and Lidl have recorded sales growth of 20% and 14.9% respectively on a like-for-like basis. Even Iceland, which specialises in frozen food, has had a growth of 15.2%. Now this may not look that significant, unless you compare it to the growth reported by the established supermarkets-Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrisons-which reported a growth of 6.3%, 4.3%, 7.9% and 10.2% respectively.

Read more at:

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/retailing/article4208031.ece