Our story so far: Sonics/Storm owner Howard Schultz abruptly sells his teams to out-of-towners, causing die-hard sports fans to threaten a boycott of Starbucks, the

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Revenge, Tall Single

Did Sonics fans cause Starbucks sales downtick?

Our story so far: Sonics/Storm owner Howard Schultz abruptly sells his teams to out-of-towners, causing die-hard sports fans to threaten a boycott of Starbucks, the coffee chain founded by Schultz. It seems only an idle threat. Now, the July Starbucks figures are in: Sales grew again—but, at just 4 percent, the slowest pace in nearly five years. Starbucks is still raking in gobs of drug money—$1.96 billion in caffeine-related revenues the last quarter—and opening, on average, four new stores daily in a scorched-earth (and beans) assault on the specialty coffee market. But the growth-rate drop is around 40 percent compared to last July. Company executives rushed to blame the downtick on unexpectedly high demand for Frappuccinos and other frozen blends, which take longer to make than espresso drinks. But we know better, don't we, sports fans? See you at Tully's.

 
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