Starbucks CEO Says Market Volatility Won’t Affect Growth Plans

Starbucks Corp. Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz, aiming to reassure employees about turmoil in the financial markets, said the situation won’t affect the company’s growth plans.

“We will positively manage through today’s challenging environment just as we have positively navigated through challenging moments in the past,” Schultz said in a memo to workers on Monday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plunged more than 5 percent on Monday morning, following declines overseas. But the market began to rebound over the course of the day, pulling back from the brink of the S&P 500’s first correction in almost four years. Starbucks shares tumbled as much as 20 percent before recovering. The stock was down 0.8 percent to $52.40 as of 1:16 p.m. in New York.

“Today’s financial market volatility, combined with great political uncertainty both at home and abroad, will undoubtedly have an effect on consumer confidence and perhaps even our customers’ attitudes and behavior,” Schultz said in the memo. “Our customers are likely to experience an increased level of anxiety and concern. Please recognize this and -- as you always have -- remember that our success is not an entitlement, but something we need to earn, every day.”

Still, the Starbucks brand has “never been stronger or more relevant,” he said.

“I can assure you that we will continue to lead and manage the company through the lens of humanity, doing everything we possibly can to continue to make your families proud of our company and all we stand for,” Schultz said.

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