SAN DIEGO (RealMoney) -- This is for those who think I never have anything nice to say. Regardless of what you think of Starbucks (SBUX) the stock, you can't take this away from Starbucks the company: Just as it reinvented a commodity when it started, it remains in constant reinvention mode today, as it must be in its role as a mature brand.
The company signaled long ago that its core coffee-bar business peaked when it started doing a series of acquisitions, including for Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Teavana.
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Reinvention has been a continuous theme at Starbucks, and this is why it's not necessarily worrisome to see a single quarter of below-expectations traffic or comparable-store sales growth at the company.
What's more interesting, from my viewpoint, is Starbucks' continuous moves forward. That's not just in mobile payments, which the company claims are taking a page from Uber -- though its leaps into delivery are even more interesting. Rather, I'm talking about new upscale Starbucks stores.
In all of the handwringing over the weaker-than-expected comp-store and traffic growth, there was little mention of what I found to be the company's most significant comment: Starbucks is rolling out new Starbucks Reserve stores.
Initially, the company plans 100 of these stores, which will feature its rarer "reserve" coffees. Starbucks is already experimenting with the Reserve concept inside existing stores, and it plans to roll this out as a sub brand in 1,500 locations. I recently chatted up a barista at one of the test locations near me, and she said the more expensive Reserves, which are brewed using a different technique from that of traditional drip, were the most popular drinks in the store.