The New York Times and Starbucks announce that selected NY Times articles will be made free-of-charge to members of the Starbucks loyalty program via the Starbucks App beginning in early 2016. NYT CEO Thompson:
We have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Starbucks and we’re delighted that this arrangement will further extend our digital relationship.
Starbucks CEO Schultz:
We see a future where the Starbucks retail experience seamlessly extends to the mobile devices our millions of customers carry with them every day. Our relationship with the New York Times is the perfect example of bringing this vision to life.
Starbucks ends the “Race Together” aspect of its broader campaign on race, meaning that baristas will no longer be writing “Race Together” on customers’ cups. Baristas complained that they barely had enough time to complete orders and that they were never even trained about the campaign before it launched. Starbucks is still going ahead with other parts of the initiative, including forums to discuss race and the hiring of 10,000 employees from diverse backgrounds to staff new stores in poor, urban areas. Schultz:
While there has been criticism of the initiative — and I know this hasn’t been easy for any of you — let me assure you that we didn’t expect universal praise…The promise of the American Dream should be available to every person in this country, not just a select few.
Starbucks opens the first Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar in New York City’s Upper East Side. What Starbucks is for coffee, this Teavana bar plans to be for tea. The tea bar features the renowned Teavana “Wall of Tea” as well as special pastries, salads and flatbreads sandwiches meant to specifically compliment the flavors of tea offered. Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer:
Tea has been a part of Starbucks heritage since 1971, when we were founded as Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spices, and this new store concept elevates the tea experience in the same way we’ve done for coffee. As the second most-consumed global beverage behind water, tea presents a $90 billion global market opportunity, and we are excited to celebrate the first retail example of how our two companies are coming together.