business

Starbucks Japan to raise coffee prices

39 Comments

Starbucks Coffee Japan Ltd said Monday that it will raise the prices of some 20 coffee beverages and five coffee bean products on July 16. The drink prices will be raised by 10 to 30 yen, the second hike in about one year and a half, while the coffee bean prices will go up by 100 yen for a 250-gram pack in the first price increase in about six years.

The price of a small caffe latte, for example, will go up from 310 yen to 320 yen.

The move reflects a rise in the prices of such ingredients as milk, as well as skyrocketing crude oil prices that have led to a surge in transportation costs, Starbucks Coffee Japan officials said.

Meanwhile, the company has not been affected by fluctuations in international market prices of coffee beans because it buys coffee beans directly from contracted farmers, the officials said.

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39 Comments
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the wheels of industry are now threatened to stop......

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100 yen "All you can drink" coffee at MAC is going to kill starbucks eventually. While I don't really like MAC, their coffee is pretty good. And at all you can drink for 100 yen, a very good value.

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I agree with noborito. People will just find alternatives as the price goes up. People are willing to pay a lot for a fresh morning latte-but not so much when other deals for equally good coffee are available.

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The McDonald's of coffee finally got its lights shut out. Japanese people know a lot more about coffee than people think.

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I hate this whole culture. Imagine a time when companies actually thought about customers. When they put quality first and took pride in both their pricing and products. Imagine a time when it was ok to be profitable and not a requirement to do year on year massive increases to be considered a viable company.

I'm tired of seeing companies raise prices, reduce quality and expecting us to just keep coming back. And we do. Starbucks is just one of many. Anyone order a Pizza Hut pizza recently? I've seen better microwave pizzas in the grocery at home, but the pricing is still up there.

Consumers seriously need to start striking back. When a company raises prices on already over priced items, reduces quality, charges more for much less, we need to send a message to them by simply not buying things. But the competition's products instead.

Sooner or later this consumer revolt will force markets to look at companies that are able to please customers and maintain income as desirable instead of just whatever rip off company can make more money.

Time for some long term customer retention thinking by companies and a consumer war waged on corporations to teach them that we won't just keep paying massive money for crap.

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If truth in advertising were a law they'd have to change their name to "four-bucks". Too expensive for a lousy cup of coffee!

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Very stupid move. It's a price sensitive market and they're overpriced already.

They need to introduce a sharp discount for take-out customers. I don't mind paying 400-500 yen for a chance to sit down and relax in central Tokyo, but no way I'd pay that price just for some lousy coffee.

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Hmm interesting argument about McDonald's coffee.

But the thing is, I am sure MC does not have strategic locations as widely spread as Starbucks, especially when it comes to business districts/bldgs, which are probably the main source of customers for Starbucks? Not sure..

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Everything will just keep getting smaller, more expensive and made out of cheaper and cheaper materials.

Buy good quality coffee online and make it at the office yourself. Buy coffee from the local cafe, Ma and Pa or local chain shop. Teach Starbucks and the rest a lesson.

I'm making a point of buying local quality goods and boycotting overpriced chain products. I hope more people will do the same and I guarantee you the companies will hear you.

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wasn't it last year that the hokkaido dairy farmers were moaning that there was no market for their milk? So if they've got so much milk why the rise in price of milk? And lack of butter? Bizzare

This will only help me in my goal of drinking less coffee and more water - thank you SB

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if its not effected by the bean price increase, why are they increasing the price of beans! More reason not to buy Starbucks. If McD's come out with decent latte or capuccino then bye bye starbucks and other overpriced coffee joints.

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heard a podcast on mickey d's coffee, they had trouble selling it at 90 cents in the US and had to raise the price to give the impression of quality we will see what happens with this perception here in the big mikan!

<strong>Moderator: Readers, stay on topic please. The subject is Starbucks, not McDonald's.</strong>

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I agree with other posters. Starbucks was too expensive to begin with. I think this will end up spelling the end of the chain in Japan. Why should anyone spend more on a simple Starbucks cup of coffee when you can get all you can drink for 100 yen at McDonald's?

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McDs coffee seems to get a pretty good rating for taste, as does Doutour. They're both significantly cheaper as well. Starbucks shops are usually a nice place to sit with a drink - if you can get a seat. That's about the only thing going for them.

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Moderator: Obviously the rising price of products at Starbucks has something to do with the rising prices of items in other chains such as MD. Please use your imagination to see the trend of conversation here is about why Starbucks prices are going up and how that is a part of a much broader issues of rising prices in most corporates. This is very much ON Topic for those paying attention to the tread.

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the only good thing about starbucks is the no smoking policy, other than that I prefer almost anywhere else

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I won't pay 320 yen for a cup of cofee, but I will pay 280 yen for Starbuck's lemon cake - it's delicious!

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I find it amusing that so many posters here claim to be above drinking Starbucks coffee, yet it's been wildly successful. I would imagine at least half of you are not being honest. Coffee is coffee is coffee. Sure it's too expensive at Starbucks, but It tastes good.

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So successful, they've just layed off 10,000 workers.

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I'll second the Non- Smoking thing. But really it's just coffee and those that take out are really just posers that want that brand name to make em look trendy. Dotour coffee is just as good and cheaper as long as they have the non-smoking place. Their food is much better that Starbucks too.

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Starbucks should raise their prices to whatever they feel they can justify for their bottom line. If the customers don't like it they can vote with their feet and drink elsewhere ... which is exactly what I did when I asked the difference between a short latte and a tall one. The barister told me that they just add more milk. So what about the coffee? No, just more milk, I was told. If you want the same flavor as a short latte, "you have to buy another shot."

It's all about the customers' perception of value. Starbucks is not selling just coffee but all the other elements that they have attached to it. For my taste, I prefer a Doutor latte at 230 yen - with no cheating on the coffee.

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I prefer Excelsior Coffee, their food is also great.

Only thing I ever bought at Starbucks was their standard Frappucino.

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The problem is customers don't shop with their feet. Most follow on like good little consumer sheep and keep on buying. Which is why these corporates feel ok raising prices and dropping quality. They know most shoppers won't bother the change anything. They will just complain and carry on.

We should be shopping with our feet at Starbucks and any other shop that charges too much for so so stuff.

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This will not affect me in the slightest. Coffee is evil!

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instant coffee is just as good

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I'm glad I don't drink coffee. I've got better things to drink that bitter brown water ... for ¥400.

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"Coffee is evil"

Jeez, I'd hate to hear what you'd say about whiskey!

"instant coffee is just as good"

It is not.

"bitter brown water"

Not the coffee I drink. I put plenty of sugar and cream in there ha ha ha, and recently I discovered a dollop of coffee ice cream is great in coffee too!

"Starbucks coffee"

Good, but too expensive.

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Starbucks is like disney land. They sell the experience, not the product. As long as the novelty wears off, Japanese will go back to their drip (or canned!) coffee. Starbucks didn't see this coming for the last 5 years. They stuck with their system of overpriced burned out espresso and now they are paying the price.

Anyway, even Disney was able to repackage, reinvent and they are still making a killing in a tough market such as Japan, so Starbucks will have to figure out how to repackage and rebrand to survive.

i am in the coffee business so all this is good news for me hahaha.

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I go to Starbucks about three times a week, because I like the coffee - the prices though are already too high, and this is merely an excuse to hike the prices.

I will now look elsewhere, but Tulley's & Seattle's are also expensive.

Dotour's coffee is not tasty. Hmm...

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novelty, i don't think so, it has been a novelty, growing (albeit slower than before), for 20 years

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No one else has mentioned this, but I go to Starbucks for the atmosphere. It feels exactly the same in Japan as in America when you're inside... which makes it a perfect, safe place for me to teach English to my students. The moment they step inside a Starbucks in an English speaking country, I think they'll feel just that much more comfortable. So, for me, even the price hike is worth it.

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keshii, you're getting them to buy your coffee, too, right? Admit it!

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Starbucks is just too trendy for Japanese to give up on it. They like the cachet of carrying the cup around, or sitting in or outside one of the stores. Now if they feel that it is worth the Y600 for a simple cup of coffee, that is their choice. As for me, I long for the days of all you can drink coffee at a local coffee shop for $.75. But those days are long gone, just like affordable air tickets. But that is another topic.

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"Starbucks is like disney land. They sell the experience, not the product"

But just about every other chain mimics Starbucks so much that it may as well be starbucks. Not to mention it is just a very corporate atmosphere anyway. And there are many much cooler cafes with better ambiance in Tokyo that are private shops.

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sarge: instant coffee is perfectly acceptable if you're not really a coffee drinker

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Starbucks closing many outlets in USA, to cut costs. Higher prices can save more outlets jobs and oulets.

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Always get a small coffee. The refill is only 100 yen so you end up with more coffee than the medium. Always use the words small, medium, and large when you order at Starbucks.

Rajakumar: Starbucks closing many outlets in USA, to cut costs. Higher prices can save more outlets jobs and oulets.

To cut their losses at unprofitable brances? Higher prices can save jobs or lose them; there's no guarantee.

They are closing unprofitable stores which opened in the past two years, basically. These price rises are necessary, I agree. Inflation is everywhere these days. If the prices of things are not going up, the sizes or quantities are going down. Starbucks regulars are pretty die-hard I imagine. I'm not one of them. I've always supported the neighborhood coffee shop - even when that was Starbucks (in Queen Anne, Seattle) way back in 1989. Next up, convenience stores. All these businesses (Nova, Starbucks, 7-11, etc. ) are cannibalizing themselves.

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depends what kind of stores are closing in the US...company-owned or individually owned

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Starbucks "Japan" sucks ! They won't let you even eat an orange now at their tables if it isn't purchased from them. This in complete contrast to the home office in the US, where you can sit down, relax, read a book and enjoy whatever you want to eat right there at one of their tables. I know, I just did it a dozen times over the past few weeks. Again, Starbucks "Japan" is a miserable experience of cat and mouse as you just try to enjoy a cup of coffee ! No thanks... I haven't been back to the one in Tokyo station for months now. I take my business elsewhere, I suggest you do too.

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