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$1 Starbucks + Free Refill

Starbucks Fights to Keep up with McDonalds

— January 24, 2008 — Lifestyle
Starbucks is known world-wide for having outrageously expensive drink prices, but all that could change now that competitors like McDonald's are offering cheaper Joe, including specialty espresso drinks like cappuccinos and lattes.

Seattle-based locations are going to be experimenting with $1 coffees and free refills in a vie to win over frugal customers. Before the promotion, Starbucks was selling black coffees for up to $2.10 US, so this is quite a price difference! With the tested project, a short coffee, or 8oz (237 ml) will cost $1.

A statement from a Starbucks spokeswoman said the test "is not indicative of any new business strategy," adding, "Testing is a way of life for us, as we are constantly looking for new ways to connect with the customer and provide the best Starbucks experience."

McDonalds clearly has them nervous, and rightly so. There are 15,000 Starbucks locations in 43 counties, and McDonalds, which is found in many more locations all over the world, is already adding these new specialty coffees to about 14,000 stores!

Great, $1 coffee is fantastic, and I won't be complaining, but the real problem is in the specialty drinks. Afterall, that's the reason people opt for Starbucks in the first place. If they continue to keep prices as high on cappuccinos, lattes, and the ever-popular Frappucino, what will keep customers from going to McDonalds or Tim Hortons for their sweetened, slushy, iced java?