Retail bear emerges on Starbucks earnings call

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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Comments (10)
  • Momintn
    , contributor
    Comments (6083) | Send Message
    Shultz was just trying to make his stock look better. You want to be buying companies while they are down. The cold weather will not last forever. Take a look at Macy's, TJMaxx, GM or F, a dollar store, and anything else you have been wanting to own.
    24 Jan 2014, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • financeminister
    , contributor
    Comments (1228) | Send Message
    some folks wanted to own JCP and Enron at one point.
    24 Jan 2014, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • Dantes_Will
    , contributor
    Comments (409) | Send Message
    Connecting the dots: this should mean an immediate and possibly dramatic increase in overall ad tech sector spending in 2014, and a possible slump in B&M dependent retailers.


    Retailers are scrambling to transition to more savvy and Artificial Intelligence targeted online advertising. Lots of risk in picking a winner, but whomever it is will see exponential growth.
    24 Jan 2014, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (4474) | Send Message
    Shultz is probably buying back a ton of his stock after making those comments, why should Carl have all the fun. Key word in his comments was "big way".No kidding just follow the money. Online sales climbed 16% over the holidays they said. For me it goes no further than when I have to re-up my cell contract. Why pay my carrier 50% more for the same exact phone on AMZN who gives me 30 days to return it and does not charge me restocking fee if I do. point set match.
    24 Jan 2014, 11:29 AM Reply Like
  • citizenleung
    , contributor
    Comments (324) | Send Message
    Just wait until Bezos starts Amazon Cafe, which will deliver your caramel macchiato by drone.
    24 Jan 2014, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • Roger C. Wren
    , contributor
    Comments (260) | Send Message
    Even better than a drone delivery would be delivery by local cheerleaders.
    25 Jan 2014, 10:44 AM Reply Like
  • chrisfenton
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
    Cold weather? Its 78 degrees here in California
    24 Jan 2014, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • movies555
    , contributor
    Comments (1453) | Send Message
    Schultz is absolutely right.
    24 Jan 2014, 06:48 PM Reply Like
  • RoadrunnerLady
    , contributor
    Comments (22) | Send Message
    I'll take Schultz over Beezoos any day. I'm usually not snarky but I couldn't resist.
    24 Jan 2014, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (4474) | Send Message
    Wall mart Sams club just announced 2300 mid level management job cuts, weather should be warmer by then
    25 Jan 2014, 05:01 AM Reply Like
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