STARBUCKS HISTORYStarbucks – History and Strategy Development‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll is all my body needs,’ sang lan Dury and the Blockheads, but the real roots of rock’n’roll were in 1950s coffee bars. It was in a coffee bar next to diminutive Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, that Sam Phillips negotiated the deals with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Howlin’ Wolf that gave African-American music to the world. It was also in, the ‘2 I’s’ coffee bar in Soho, London, that white Britons, including Cliff Richard, Hank Marvin, Tommy Steele and Mickey Most copied the music of America’s Deep South. Time moved on and the coffee bar culture declined except in Italy, where it began. After the excitement of the ‘British invasion’ of the USA by bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones began to die down in the 1970s, rock music was in need of one of its periodic revolutions. This time Seattle would raise the torch. In Seattle and elsewhere, the alienated teenagers of Generation X did not relate to the studio-enhanced, beautifully preened purveyors of corporate rock that dominated the airwaves. The fast food joints where they could eat or the downtown bars were not for them. In mid-1980s Seattle, something was brewing. While travelling in Italy, the popularity of Milan’s espresso coffee bars impressed Howard Schultz. At the time, he was director of retail operations and marketing of Starbucks, a provider of coffee to fine restaurants. He concluded that Generation X needed the coffee bar culture – slow down, ‘smell the coffee’ and enjoy life a little more. From little beans big things grew. The result was Starbucks, the coffee house chain that started the trend of once again enjoying coffee to its fullest. Starbucks doesn’t sell just coffee, it sells The Starbucks Experience. As…
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