Friday, February 20, 2009

An Inflated Sense of Self-Importance* (SBUX)

*Definition of Narcissistic personality disorder at MedLine:
Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which there is an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with one's self.
We've had a couple posts on the phoniness of Starbucks. In August '07 they gave a clear sell signal, "Enough With the 'Raising Awareness' Garbage":
Paramount's summer release, "Arctic Tale," is performing miserably. How you mess up a movie about a cute little polar bear and a chubby little walrus is beyond me. Perhaps that cheesy preaching from Queen Latifah and the grrrl-power/boys-are-stupid vibe didn't help.

That's not the point. The point is "the film has grossed roughly $600,000 domestically since its release July 25."

And that's just fine with Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment. "Our measurement of success was not the box office," Lombard said. "Our measurement of success was to do as much as we could to encourage discussion around the critical issue of today -- global warming."

I'm sure that's the sort of thing that Starbucks shareholders want to hear. "We don't measure success in stupid old dollars. We're more interested in conversation."...MORE from Ad Age

And confirmed it in January '09:

From the "Do as I Say..." Department (SBUX)

Starbucks, others to lobby for climate legislation
-The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 19, 2008

As stores close, Starbucks buys a jet

...Zuskin said the Gulfstream 550 is not more fuel-efficient than the Gulfstream V [SBUX's current steed-ed], but it does have longer flight range and enhanced safety systems.

The new plane can carry up to 19 passengers and, according to a Gulfstream brochure, comes with two DVD players, multi-disc CD player, two floor-to-ceiling closets and a galley for hot meal service that includes "dual coffee makers."

-The Seattle Times, January 8, 2009's Daily Brief gives us another example of SBUX's failure to stick to their knitting
(while they scold Great Britain's Business Minister, the quote is precious):

Switch to Decaf, Minister

...Howard Schultz, the Starbucks founder and CEO, is known as a plain-spoken guy whose enthusiasm -- and emotion -- sometimes get the better of him. He's more than met his match in Lord Mandelson, Britain's business secretary.

After Schultz expressed doubts about the immediate future of Britain's economy -- doubts shared by many, many others, it should be noted -- Mandelson teed off on him while in New York to give a speech.

"Why should I have this guy running down the country?" Mandelson was overheard saying about Schultz at a party after giving his speech. "Who the fuck is he? How the hell are they [Starbucks] doing?">>>MORE

Fair question.

SBUX vs. S&P 500, 2 year, via Yahoo Finance:

Chart for Starbucks Corp. (SBUX)