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Starbucks loses $11 billion due to poor sales, boycotts

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Starbucks stocks declined for 12 consecutive stock market sessions, the longest-ever recorded streak since the company went public in 1992

New Delhi: Global political tensions are spilling fast into Seattle-based Starbucks Corporation, as the company has lost approximately $11 billion in value, erasing 9.4% of the company’s total value.

Within a span of 19 calendar-days, since its November 16 Red Cup Day promotion, shares of Starbucks have plummeted 8.96%, which equates to a nearly $11 billion loss, amid analysts’ reports of slowing sales and a subdued response to the holiday season’s offerings.

The boycotts at the Seattle, Washington-based chain have deep roots, touching on sensitive geopolitical issues after the company found itself in hot water following a tweet from Starbucks Workers United, the union representing many of its baristas, expressing solidarity with Palestinians.

“Amid an ongoing boycott due to the Israeli occupation’s aggression against the Gaza strip, the undercurrent of discontent signals a challenging brew for the company’s future,” an industry analyst said.

Starbucks stocks declined for 12 consecutive stock market sessions, the longest-ever recorded streak since the company went public in 1992, and the stock currently hovers at around $95.80 per share, down from its yearly high of $115.

The company has denied wrongdoing in the scenarios but faces the challenge of maintaining its brand reputation amid divisive global issues.

In a recent call with analysts, Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan said he remains optimistic about the company’s diversified channels and ability to engage customers despite macroeconomic challenges and changing consumer behaviours.

The recent boycott of Starbucks comes in part of a large boycott of several global brands over their support of Israel. Starbucks in Egypt reportedly laid off workers in late November after being financially affected by the boycott – forcing it to cut expenses.

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