What’s the one thing an ailing coffee chain that’s been forced to close stores and cut jobs needs in order to recover? Another corporate jet. Then again, maybe CEO Howard Schultz just needed it to personally inspect underperforming stores.
Starbucks just acquired a Gulfstream 550 for roughly $45 million. To be fair, the company decided to buy the plane, its third corporate aircraft (two just aren’t enough), three years ago and cancelling their order would have meant losing the payments they made up to this point plus an additional $5 million for the cancellation.
The coffee conglomerate is currently trying to sell its oldest plane. Here’s hoping they make a nice chunk of change from that sale.
While many companies have corporate jets, Starbucks’ new arrival comes at a delicate time. Plunging profits are forcing the company to make unprecedented cost cuts, including closing 616 U.S. stores last year and slashing thousands of jobs.
Last month, it warned Wall Street to expect disappointing profits for the holiday quarter and told employees it might shrink how much it contributes to their 401(k) plans this year…
Starbucks has three jets now — the new aeroplane, a 5-year-old Bombardier and a 7-year-old Gulfstream V that it is trying to sell.
Trevino said they are important to Starbucks’ business, which includes nearly 17,000 stores in 49 countries, a multinational business and relationships with coffee growers around the world. Employees also take commercial flights, she said, but “in some instances it makes more sense, from a time and economic standpoint, to use the corporate plane.”
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