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The Seattle Times reports that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says that the pace of change at the troubled coffee icon is likely to slow at coming months, after a period of time when the company seemed to be “feverishly” announcing initiatives to drive up sales and profits. Schultz also said that he doesn’t expect there to be any more layoffs at Starbucks after the closing of 975 stores and the cutting of 18,400 jobs in the US.

Schultz also plans to introduce decaffeinated and other varieties of its new Via instant/soluble coffee, according to a Reuters story.

KC's View:
I can't quite figure out why Starbucks is delaying the national rollout of its new Via instant coffee product until the fall, with current plans to sell it only in Seattle, Chicago and London. Starbucks makes a big announcement of the new product, it actually gets some pretty good reviews (including here, not that I have any juice), and then management decides to wait seven months to make it available nationally.

Sounds like an opportunity missed…and the company is opening the window for competition to come in and take away whatever differential advantage Via might give to Starbucks.

Is it possible that Starbucks held a big press conference for Via because it wanted to boost its stock price and give investors confidence? Otherwise, why would you talk about it without being able to make it available to everybody?