Schultz White House Bid Could Mean Trouble for Starbucks

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And. With what's news from the Wall Street Journal. I'm Ameri for totally in New York. Howard Schultz is presidential bid could mean trouble for Starbucks. Even though he stepped down as chairman of the company over the summer. He is probably always going to be forever linked with Starbucks. He was the one who didn't found it. But he he got involved when there were only four stores, and he expanded the Starbucks brand across the globe. The Wall Street Journal's Julie jargon has the details. But first here are some other top stories, we're following the Federal Reserve sent it strongest signal to date that three years of interest rate hikes may be at an end. The Wall Street Journal's Nick Tim rose says more on the Fed's meeting this week Jay Powell said the case for raising interest rates as we can somewhat asked. If the next move would be a rate increase or rate cut. He said it would depend on the incoming data. It all adds up to a picture that the fed is on hold right now. The fed has signaled it'll take more patie-. And approach to rate hikes this year. It's been a big week for tech earnings despite a tumultuous year Facebook reported a record profit in the fourth quarter, which is typically the heaviest spending period for advertisers revenue rose thirty percent to sixteen point nine one billion dollars exceeding expectations in recent months. Facebook has struggled with violations of user trust and is facing renewed scrutiny over its handling of user data and other privacy concerns despite falling short of expectations. Tesla posted its first ever consecutive quarterly profit that's raising questions over whether the electric car company can continue delivering reliable profits while selling the model three at a lower cost the company struggled to ramp up production of the model three last year. Jeep executive Elon Musk says tesla will sustain profits as long as it sells between three hundred sixty thousand and four hundred thousand cars this year. And rounding out Wednesday's Tekere innings Microsoft reported slowing sales, but growth in its cloud computing business revenue in its cloud computing segment rose twenty percent, Microsoft trails only Amazon in cloud services, still to come. What Howard Schultz is bid for the White House could be in for Starbucks. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is potential bid for the White House could be problematic for the coffee chain. Just as it starting to rebound from a slump in the United States. Joining me now from Los Angeles is Wall Street Journal reporter, Julie jargon. Julia. We should start by pointing out that Scholtz campaign has angered many people, namely Democrats who argue his candidacy would split the vote and propel President Trump to a second term in the White House. But so far shelters been brushing off that criticism, right? He his continuing to appear on television news programs in an appearance on CBS this morning. He said that he must be doing something right because he's getting so much attention. So at the moment, he doesn't appear to be backing down. Now when it comes to Starbucks Schultz also made waves for the company when it comes to expressing his political opinions or even in one instance, where he encouraged employers to engage in charge conversations with. Starbucks customers. Right. There have been different moments of backlash in the past at one point he encouraged baristas to engage customers in conversations about race relations. He asked them to write race together on people's coffee cups, and that angered a lot of customers who said that they just want to get a Cup of coffee, and they don't want it to be politicized. He also inspired calls for boy Kat threats a couple of years ago when he announced plans to hire more than ten thousand refugees and people were saying why don't you hire Americans veterans, which he has been doing. He's been hiring a lot of veterans as well during his time at Starbucks, but the other maneuvers times in the past when he's taken a stand on certain issues, and it's inspired outcries. But these cases were when Scholtz was still the head of the company, so why is his potential candidacy causing problems for Starbucks? When he no longer runs the company. Well, for one thing a lot of people probably don't realize that he has step. Away from the company he retired officially in June of two thousand eighteen as chairman of the board. But he is probably always going to be forever linked with Starbucks. He was the one who didn't found it. But he he got involved when there were only four stores, and he expanded the Starbucks brand across the globe. So it's been you know, he's been the public face of the brand for about thirty years. And I think it would be hard to separate him from Starbucks. And as you write in your piece for the Wall Street Journal, this is also a tricky time for Starbucks, which is trying to drive more traffic to its stores, especially in the United States, and amid a more crowded marketplace when it comes to coffee, you know, the company has been struggling a bit lately in the US from declining customer visits. They've been trying to get people to come back and and come back more often, and they just have started to turn a corner. The last quarter. They just reported traffic was flat to their US stores, which was an improvement from last year. Or the prior fiscal year of there's when traffic was down. So they've been doing a lot of things to try to bring more financial discipline to the company and bring more innovative into the beverages and starting to offer delivery now. So they've started to do some new things that have brought people, you know, kind of stabilize the business and now they're dealing with this. So Julie, what do you think we can expect in the weeks and months ahead as the campaign for the White House in twenty twenty heats up? Well, Howard Schultz has not said that he's officially going to run out. He said he is seriously considering he is just embarking on a national book tour for a new memoir that he has just published. So I think he's trying to test the waters and in the months ahead. We'll find out if he actually plans to enter the fray, that's Wall Street Journal reporter, Julie jargon. Joining us from Los Angeles with more on how Howard Schultz is potential bid for the White House could complicate matters for Starbucks. Julie. Thank you so much. Thanks. Having me. And that's what's news. I'm Ameri for totally in New York for the Wall Street Journal.

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