Schultz discussed the decision to keep more of the company's business in the United States, focusing on Starbucks' Create Jobs for USA Fund. For instance, Starbucks contracted with a tiny ceramics company in East Liverpool, Ohio, to make mugs for the project. Schultz also noted that Starbucks built a factory in Augusta, Ga., forgoing considerable cost savings had the company placed it offshore. (He didn't mention if he selected Augusta so he could kill two birds with one stone each April -- visit the factory, watch some golf.)
These two efforts will create or preserve roughly 150 jobs. That's not a big number, but Schultz sounded genuine in his commitment to look for other opportunities. Several things he said struck me.
Because he doesn't expect Washington to get anything done between now and the presidential election, Schultz thinks corporate America has a responsibility to help fuel domestic growth. He talked about striking "a balance between profitability and responsibility." He also said pretty much the same thing Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg relayed in his recent S-1 letter to investors:These days I think more and more people want to use services from companies that believe in something beyond simply maximizing profits. Schultz did not use the words "simply maximizing profits." While it would not have bothered me if he did, I just want to make that clear. He did, however, speak Zuckerberg's language. Schultz contends that consumers want to spend money with companies that align with their values. He sees inaction in Washington. He sees a sluggish economy. He sees virtually dead places like East Liverpool. And, no doubt, he sees an opportunity. So he goes after it. If you read Schultz's book about how he and his team brought Starbucks back from the brink, you'll realize that's what he has always done. Temper your cynicism here. I really do not see this as a phony show of goodwill. Ultimately, proof lays in how far Starbucks is willing to take things.
Can Apple Do More?So Starbucks sacrifices a little bit on the bottom line (maybe) and spends some cash in an attempt to help boost domestic production. Clearly, it cannot incite meaningful change on its own. It's a bit like Bill Gates giving away half of his fortune. Nice gesture, but there's no sweeping impact until you enlist others to do the same. Even then, things still look relatively bleak.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV