TIME Starbucks

Friends Of Starbucks’ CEO Want Him to Run Against Hillary

Starbucks Holds Annual Shareholders Meeting
Stephen Brashear—Getty Images Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz.

Better latte than never for Schultz

Hillary Clinton is still the presumptive favorite to become the Democratic nominee for the U.S. presidency. But high-powered friends of Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz are reportedly eager to anoint him as a challenger to Clinton.

The 62-year-old CEO has been urged by supporters to join the Democratic primary, with friends “thinking the time is right for someone who’s not a political lifer,” according to Maureen Dowd’s latest New York Times column. The idea, Dowd postulates, could “be a tempting proposition” for Schultz, and offers a worthy party back-up to Clinton should something unforeseen happen to her candidacy.

It would mark a shift for Schultz if he does enter the presidential ring. In an interview with Time in February, Schultz was adamant that he would not run for President in 2016: “I don’t think that is a solution. I don’t think it ends well,” he said in the story. He threw a cautious endorsement of Clinton, saying he was content to “see what Hillary does.”

Schultz has long been vocal about the role of government and its failure in addressing the nation’s pressing issues. In 2013, Schultz started a Starbucks-led petition to end the government shutdown, and delivered more than 2 million signatures to the White House in their “Come Together” campaign. While promoting his book For Love of Country, Schultz talked about the lack of leadership from the U.S. government and politicians: “The country is longing for leadership and for truth with a capital T,” he told Dowd in a New York Times story.

It was a message he repeated at Starbuck’s Investor’s Day meeting last December.

“The country is definitely not going in the right direction. There is a significant void of leadership in America and around the world,” he said in one report. “I strongly believe that businesses and business leaders have a significant responsibility to do all we can to bring our people along with us and share our significant success … and not wait for Washington because the void of leadership is getting bigger and bigger.”

If he does run, Schultz will be handed the difficult task of defeating Clinton. In the latest numbers by RCP, around 58% of those polled would choose Clinton as the Democratic nominee for President, three times more than runner-up Bernie Sanders.

TIME Uber

StubHub’s App Now Lets You Request an Uber To Your Event

They want to make sure you get to the show on time

StubHub isn’t content to simply sell you ridiculously expensive Taylor Swift concert tickets. It wants to make sure you get to the show on time too.

On Wednesday, the event ticket marketplace announced that it’s teaming up with ride-hailing startup Uber and integrating the service into its iOS and Android mobile apps. Now, when customers purchase tickets, they can set a reminder in the app to order an Uber ride for the day of the event, or, if they purchase tickets within two hours of the event, they can immediately book a ride right from StubHub’s app.

“This integration marks another step towards StubHub’s vision to become an end-to-end live entertainment service, moving users from discovery to purchasing to planning,” StubHub’s head of mobile Parag Vaish said in a statement.

For now, the integration is only available in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, StubHub said.

Uber originally released access to its application program interface (API) in 2014, and its potential uses were quickly obvious. The service has already been integrated into apps such as the Starbucks ordering app (for a ride to pick up that cup o’ joe), Hinge (for a ride to that hot date), and OpenTable (for a ride to that overpriced fancy restaurant), among others.

 

MONEY Shopping

8 Retail Loyalty Programs With Big Rewards

Retail And Tourism In Southern France As Economy Accelerates
Bloomberg via Getty Images s

Just be careful not to overspend for the sake of getting rewards.

Are there certain retailers you frequent more often than you’d like to admit? Many retailers have loyalty programs that can be pretty rewarding, especially for those who shop on a regular basis.

First, a quick explainer on loyalty programs vs. store credit cards. There are retailer-specific rewards credit cards that can help shoppers earn bonuses for brand loyalty as well, but they may carry higher interest rates than the average credit card and they’ll likely require a credit check. Loyalty programs are mostly free (though some on our list do charge a fee) and they’re not a line of credit, even though they will reward you for shopping at the store.

A word of caution, though: While it’s good to get discounts and perks for what you do spend, be careful not to overspend for the sake of getting rewards. If you get into debt, what you end up paying in finance charges may outweigh the goodies you get for being such a good customer.

That said, membership does have its rewards. Here are eight awesome loyalty programs that can really pay.

1. Starbucks

My Starbucks Rewards

How it works: Coffee addicts earn Stars by paying with their registered Starbucks, Teavana, or La Boulange Card or by using the mobile app. Select Starbucks products sold at grocery stores can also earn Stars.

What you get: Free drinks, free food, custom offers on items and early peeks at new products.

Bonus: App users receive a free featured iTunes song weekly.

2. Regal Entertainment Group

Regal Crown Club

How it works: Film buffs earn credits for tickets and concession purchases.

What you get: Free popcorn, free drinks and, of course, movie tickets.

Bonus: Members-only sneak previews of upcoming films.

3. Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale’s Loyallist

How it works: Members earn points for every dollar they spend, be it online, in-store or at outlets. Cosmetics and fragrances earn double points.

What you get: Free shipping every day—no minimum purchase required.

Bonus: A $25 gift card every time you reach 5,000 points.

4. Sephora

Sephora Beauty Insider

How it works: Every dollar spent is a point toward rewards.

What you get: Beauty swag worth 100 and 500 points, seasonal promotions and free beauty classes. Spend $350 to unlock VIB status, and $1,000 for VIB Rouge.

Bonus: Free birthday gifts that you’ll actually love, such as Satin Lip Pencils from Nars.

5. REI

REI Member Benefits

How it works: Pay a one-time fee of $20 to enroll.

What you get: A bevy of deals, in-store discounts, and 10% back on full-price items, thanks to REI’s member dividend.

Bonus: Discounts on ski lift tickets at select resorts, plus bike and ski shop services.

6. Walgreens

Walgreens Balance Rewards

How it works: Members rack up 10 points for every dollar they spend on most items.

What you get: $5 for 5,000 points, $10 for 10,000 points, and so on – to redeem on your next purchase.

Bonus: AARP members can link their cards for more rewards, namely, 100 points for prescription refills and 50 points per dollar spent on Walgreens brand health and wellness products.

7. Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble Membership

How it works: Pay an annual fee of $25.

What you get: Free one- to three-day shipping; 10% off most items, 40% off Barnes & Noble Store Bestsellers.

Bonus: 10% off Starbucks café purchases.

8. Safeway

Safeway Club

How it works: Scan the free card with every purchase.

What you get: Automatic savings online or in-store. Forgot your card? Just enter your phone number.

Bonus: Save on Safeway gasoline at participating stores.

More from Credit.com:

TIME Starbucks

Starbucks Opening Stores in Ferguson, Other Low-income Neighborhoods

A barrista's apron hangs on a peg in Starbucks' Mayfair Vigo Street branch in central London
© Andrew Winning / Reuters—REUTERS

Openings are part of the company's effort to prompt economic development and social change.

Starbucks’ campaign earlier this year to get baristas to write “Race Together” on customers’ cups was an utter failure, but the sentiment of the campaign—to address racial tension and inequality—is still a priority at the coffee company.

On Thursday, Starbucks formally announced the opening of 15 new stores in low to middle income urban communities, namely the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, Ferguson, Mo., the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens, N.Y., and Milwaukee, Wis. The first of the stores will open in 2016.

In April, Fortune broke news of Starbucks’ planned Ferguson location. The suburb of St. Louis is where protestors clashed with police officers after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, by a white cop.

Starbucks said in a release on Thursday that each new store will hire between 20 and 25 employees on average from the local community. That employment, the company says, will provide “a new pathway to opportunity through training and development, meaningful career options and industry-leading benefits.” Most notably, employees will be eligible for a tuition-free bachelor’s degree through Starbucks’ partnership with Arizona State University.

Earlier this week, the company announced that it was spearheading an initiative to hire 100,000 young people over the next three years in an effort to make a dent in the stubbornly high unemployment rate for America’s youngest potential employees. In total, there are 5.6 million people between the ages of 16 to 24 who are out of school and not working, Starbucks said.

The new store locations will counter the heavy concentration of Starbucks locations in predominantly white neighborhoods. By crunching Census figures and a dataset of 11,500 Starbucks locations in the United States as of August 2014, Quartz determined that the density of Starbucks stores increases along with the whiteness of census tracts.

MONEY Food & Drink

Starbucks Wants to Hire More Minorities

Starbucks is leading a "100,000 opportunities" campaign, trying to hire more low-income and minority employees.

TIME Starbucks

Starbucks-led Coalition Promises to Hire 100,000 Young Workers

Starbucks Holds Annual Shareholders Meeting
Stephen Brashear—Getty Images Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz.

Target, Walmart, Macy’s also involved in effort

Starbucks and more than a dozen U.S.-based companies have outlined a plan to hire 100,000 young people over the next three years, specifically looking to provide jobs and training for those that face systemic barriers to such opportunities.

The hiring spree aims to make a dent in the stubbornly high unemployment rate for America’s youngest potential employees. In total, there are 5.6 million people between the ages of 16 to 24 who are out of school and not working, Starbucks said.

Under a platform called the “100,000 Opportunities Initiatives,” Starbucks and other firms promised to help thousands of young workers build skills and ultimately secure a job. The coffee giant said the problem is an issue on a few levels: young people aren’t ware of opportunities and don’t always know the best steps to get a job, while employers aren’t always successful at recruiting, training and retaining this work force.

Starbucks was jointed by a handful of founding companies that are also serving as partners to the mission, a group that includes JP Morgan Chase, Macy’s, Target and Walmart.

This is the second time this year that Starbucks notably stepped outside its comfort zone of selling coffee and teas and angled to address a broader social matter. Earlier this year, it launched an initiative called “Race Together,” which received a lot of criticism on social platforms like Twitter and Facebook, as well as by members of the media, who questioned if asking baristas to talk with customers about the sensitive subject of race was a wise decision.

But in a New York Times op-ed written by Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz and his wife Sheri, the couple showed their full commitment to the latest initiative by promising $30 million on behalf of their family foundation to help young people enter the work force. That money will go towards “hard” skills for fields like technology and retail and “soft” skills like teamwork and time management.

TIME Starbucks

Starbucks Is Now Offering its Cold Brew Coffee Nationwide

Courtesy of Starbucks Starbucks Cold Brew.

Coffee grounds steep in cool water for 20 hours

Just in time for the hottest days of summer, Starbucks is rolling out Cold Brew as a core menu item in its locations in Canada and the United States, the company announced Tuesday.

The coffee drink is made without heat; instead, the coffee grounds steep in cool water for 20 hours to create a sweet and concentrated drink. Cold Brew is considered a smoother drink than hot-brewed coffees because of the long steeping process.

Since an initial launch this spring, Cold Brew was only available across the Northeast and parts of the Midwest, where iced coffee sales are strongest year-round. The new drink will cost $3.25 for 16 ounces, according to USA Today — that’s 60 cents more than the $2.65 price tag for a similarly sized iced coffee.

But you don’t have to order fancier coffee to pay more at the Starbucks counter. Prices at the chain are generally rising. On Monday, Starbucks bumped up its brewed coffee prices across the board by as much as 20 cents.

The introduction of Cold Brew in Starbucks stores follows a national trend toward the naturally sweeter iced drink. This summer, Peet’s Coffee switched to only serving cold-brewed iced coffee drinks.

TIME Starbucks

Starbucks Is About To Jack Up Its Prices

Operations Inside A Starbucks Corp. Coffee Shop
Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Steep coffee.

Cue groans and grumbles.

On Tuesday, Starbucks, the Seattle-based coffee chain, is preparing to boost its prices, AP reports. The cost of most affected drinks will rise somewhere between a nickel and 20 cents, the company says. The new price amounts to a price increase of roughly 1%.

For most people, this means the price of a brewed coffee will jump 10 cents, bumping the cost of a large coffee in most U.S. shops to $2.45, according to AP, although that figure varies regionally. The company says it will use the extra revenue to offset wage increases and rising rent.

Last year Starbucks raised its prices by a similar amount. Coffee prices had then been on the rise in commodity markets.

Some critics weighed that the last price hike went too far. One commentator decried it a “luxury tax.”

This year’s slate price increase, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the cost of coffee. Arabica futures, notes MarketWatch, have declined to 42% since last year’s high.

The new prices will affect certain brewed coffees, not the bagged variety.

Is the increase all because of rent? Perhaps that claim holds some water. On a recent episode of Fortune Live, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff told host Leigh Gallagher that the the presence of a Starbucks within a quarter mile of a residence increased its property cost by about 96% on average between 1997 and 2014. Perhaps the company is a victim of its own halo effect.

TIME oreos

Oreos Get a Makeover: Meet the ‘Thinner’ Cookie

A March 7, 2012 photo shows a plate of O
MANDEL NGAN—AFP/Getty Images A plate of regular-sized Oreo cookies.

They’re selling well in China

The 103-year-old Oreo cookie is getting a much-needed makeover. It’s slimming down.

Oreo maker Mondelez has confirmed to the Associated Press that “Oreo Thins” will be a permanent fixture on U.S. retail shelves starting next week. The cookies look like a regular Oreo except they are slimmer: with four of the “Thins” containing 140 calories vs. 160 calories for three regular sized Oreos.

Mondelez joins a number of other food and beverage companies that are toying with the idea of serving smaller portions for calorie-rich snacks at a time when more Americans are favoring fresher foods and snacks, putting pressure on snacks found in the middle aisles of the grocery store. Starbucks, for example, earlier this year debuted a smaller, “Mini” Frappuccino for likely the same reason Oreo is getting slimmer. Both want to lure consumers that don’t want the guilt associated with consuming the larger snacks.

Oreo is a key brand for Mondelez, one of the world’s biggest snack companies. Oreo is one of the company’s $9 billion brands, so any successful innovation in flavors, packaging, and sizing for large brands such as Oreo can potentially move Mondelez’s sales trajectory. It has already seen a $40 million sales jump for Oreo Thins in the first eight months that the item was sold in China, the AP reported.

MONEY Food & Drink

Starbucks Just Released an App Update That Lets You Skip Waiting in Line

starbucks-skip-the-line
Zhang Peng—LightRocket / Getty Images

Coffee fans in 21 more states will be able to order their drinks ahead of time using Starbucks' mobile app.

Good news, Starbucks fans: The company is expanding a pilot program that lets customers order ahead of time and bypass the checkout line to 21 new states.

That program, known as mobile Mobile Order & Pay, launched last December in Portland and works through Starbucks’ existing iPhone app. Users can simply select their drink, their local store (the app even features wait times at various locations) and pay for their drink using the app. Then they can just stroll through the door and pick up their order—no line-waiting required.

In March, Starbucks expanded the program to Pacific Northwest, including Seattle, and now the company has announced the Mobile Order & Pay is also coming to 3,400 locations in the southern and central United States.

So far, Android users are still locked out of using the service—Mobile Order & Pay is currently iPhone-only—but Techcrunch reports the program will expand to all company-operated stores and the Android platform later this year.

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