Starbucks' chairman Howard Schultz says every retailer is being slammed by the 'Amazon effect'

Starbucks’ long-time CEO and current chairman says that the retail industry is facing critical changes.

“For every consumer brand that exists today, especially a brick-and-mortar retailer like Starbucks, there are very unique challenges because there is such a seismic change in consumer behaviour, the Amazon effect — everything,” Howard Schultz said on Monday at a screening of Starbucks’ Upstanders series.

“What that means is Starbucks, like every other consumer brand, must push for innovation and must do everything possible not to embrace the status quo,” Schultz continued.

Starbucks has focused these efforts in three major areas: improving in-store experiences, investing in tech, and doubling down on a social mission.

“No company, consumer brand or otherwise, can exist today without being a tech company,” Schultz said.

However, Schultz was focused especially on Starbucks’ social mission on Monday. This is the second year Starbucks has released a season of Upstanders, an original series focused on people improving their communities.

“Because of the web and the millennial generation, I think every company is totally exposed” when it comes to corporate values, Schultz said. “And, if you’re not the kind of company whose transparency is going to be embraced by consumers, you’re going to be in trouble.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.