Retail bear emerges on Starbucks earnings call

|About: Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)|By:, SA News Editor

If you're looking for a bear on the retail industry, look no further than Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz.

During his company's earnings conference call, Schultz didn't blame the weather, strapped consumers, or heavy promotions for comparable-store sales falling below expectations as he warned on a larger trend: A lack of boots in the streets.

"Holiday 2013 was the first in which many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers experienced in-store foot traffic give way to online shopping in a major way," said Schultz.

He says the "pronounced" shift in consumer behavior is accelerating and isn't likely to reverse, but Starbucks is one of the few B&M chains well-positioned to evolve while the ground crumbles around the retail landscape.

Starbucks earnings call transcript

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