Starbucks Raises Some Drink Prices

SEATTLE (The Seattle Times/TNS) —

Starbucks is increasing the prices on some of its drinks.

The price increases, starting Tuesday, range from 10 to 20 cents on some sizes of brewed coffee, and 10 to 30 cents on espresso beverages and tea lattes, the company said in a statement.

Starbucks says 65 percent of beverage prices remain unchanged.

How much the prices rise depends on the market. Last July, Starbucks raised its prices in Seattle, where it’s headquartered, 3.5 times as much as in the rest of the country.

Starbucks did not provide details of how much the prices went up in various cities this year.

Because of Tuesday’s price hike, the company expects that the average dollar amount of an individual sale will go up about one percent.

The company had telegraphed the price increases last week when it had inadvertently entered the higher prices into the sales systems of its U.S. company-operated stores, resulting in some customers being charged incorrectly.

On Monday, Starbucks said it would be raising the base pay of all employees, including store managers, in its U.S. company-owned stores by 5 percent or more starting Oct. 3.

The range of wage increase depends on “geographic and market factors,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz had said in a letter to employees.

Starbucks also said it would be doubling the annual company stock award for employees who reach two years of continuous service.

That the wage and price increases were announced so closely together was a coincidence of timing, according to a company spokeswoman. “Both are decisions based on long-term, strategic plans with many different consideration factors,” she said.

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