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Wed 18th Mar 2015 - Starbucks sets out new delivery models and ‘social conscience’ initiatives
Starbucks sets out new delivery models and ‘social conscience’ initiatives: Starbucks has set out new delivery models in the US to grow market capitalisation to $100 billion – and outlined new initiatives to deepen the company’s involvement in staff development, employment opportunities for military veterans and improving race relations. The new delivery options, unveiled at the annual general meeting of shareholders today, are a “Green Apron” delivery service to debut in New York City and a third-party delivery agreement with Postmates. The company also reported it had “doubled down” on investments in its people, including $233 million in healthcare benefits and $210million in ‘company shares in the 2014 financial year. The company also set a target of graduating 25,000 US employees by 2025 through the Starbucks College ‘Achievement Plan’ – and made a commitment to initiatives aimed at improving race relations. Chief executive Howard Schultz said: “When I look back at the last 23 years of our public life or Starbucks 44-year history, so much of our success is deeply rooted in the values, culture and guiding principles of who we are, who we’ve been and who we are striving to be as a company. The long history of Starbucks is steeped in trying to build a different type of business proposition from Day One: one that achieves the balance between profitability and a social conscience. And to continually ask ourselves what it takes to build a great enduring company. Even as our share price hits new all-time highs, we have never lost sight of this vision, and our goal of bringing our people along with us on the journey and sharing our success.” Attendees were told Starbucks national roll-out of Mobile Order & Pay, officially launched in the Pacific Northwest this week, will lay the groundwork for Starbucks to begin testing various food and beverage delivery options in the coming year. In an effort to integrate service solutions that meet the “on demand” customer, Starbucks will unveil two complementary delivery models including: A strategic collaboration with Postmates, a leading on-demand delivery service, which will allow customers to order their food and beverage items via the Starbucks mobile app and receive on-demand delivery within defined areas. Postmates, operating in 22 US markets with more than 1.5 million deliveries to date, brings ‘robust logistics technology, courier-enabled delivery and quality of service expertise’, the meeting heard. This Starbucks delivery pilot will begin in Seattle in the second half of 2015. A “Green Apron” barista delivery option will also be launched, enabling customers within specified office-buildings to order food and beverages for convenient delivery by Starbucks baristas. This Starbucks delivery test will begin in New York the second half of 2015. Starbucks also outlined its plans to continue to ‘build its leadership position’ in coffee, opening its next Roastery location in Asia in 2016. It is actively looking for property for its second Roastery in the United States. Additionally, Starbucks also reported it is on track towards ethically sourcing 99% of its coffee in the 2015 Financial Year supported by its 15 year relationship with Conservation International. In addition to coffee, meeting attendees heard Starbucks will offer Teavana teas in Starbucks stores in China/Asia Pacific in 2016. Starbucks reported that it has already placed more than 3,300 veterans in jobs to ‘leverage their leadership and dedication to operational excellence’ – it has set a target of 10,000. Starbucks also commited to hiring at least 10,000 young people over the next three years. In the second half of the annual meeting of Shareholders, Schultz addressed the subject of race relations in America and ‘unconscious bias’ through a personal reflection of his time spent with more than 2,000 employees during ‘Partner Open Forums’ in Seattle, St. Louis, Oakland, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Schultz announced that Starbucks and USA Today will jointly publish national inserts called “Race Together”, and launch a digital hub at, which will all serve as learning tools and conversation starters for Starbucks customers, employees and the nation to ‘encourage a greater understanding, empathy, and compassion toward one another’. More than two million of these inserts will be available across the country in USA Today newspapers, and special standalone “Race Together” inserts will also be available in Starbucks company-operated stores beginning on Friday, 20 March. “Doing what is right for society and what is right for business cannot be mutually exclusive endeavors. Today, more than ever, companies such as Starbucks must use their resources to create opportunities for their people as well as for the communities they serve,” Schultz told shareholders. “Last year on this very stage, I posed the question: ‘What is the role and responsibility of a for-profit, public company in today’s society?’ This year, I hope that we have answered that question and showcased how Starbucks can truly use our scale for good and play a role in changing the narrative and national conversation to create opportunities for all.”

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