Starbucks Tries Out $1 Coffee

Java giant also trying free refills in Seattle experiment
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2008 2:50 PM CST
Starbucks Corp. chairman Howard Schultz pauses as he addresses the annual shareholders meeting, in this March 21, 2007 file photo, in Seattle. Starbucks on Monday, Jan. 7, 2008 fired Chief Executive...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Starbucks is offering a low-cost option as it experiments with new approaches in the face of fresh competition from McDonald's, the Wall Street Journal reports. While Starbucks made its fortune on extravagantly named $4 offerings, an 8-ounce “short” cup is now available for $1 in the Seattle area, and the firm is also offering free refills on some brews.

The $1 option undercuts even the cheapest offerings of thrifty coffee vendors like Dunkin’ Donuts. Starbucks saw its first-ever decline in customer visits in the last quarter of 2007, which company executives attribute to excessive focus on adding stores to the detriment of innovation and the “Starbucks experience.” In response, founder Howard Schultz returned as CEO this month.