"I need to rant just a little bit," Starbucks barista Braden Burson said in a video posted on Twitter (which has seen been deleted) before going off on a tirade against the new pink and blue swirled sweet treat. "It used to be, they [customers] would look at the line at the point of sale, and if that line looked too long, they might decide not to do a transaction at that time and come back later. Now when customers walk into the store, we've alleviated the congestion at the point-of-sale line, and now we have congestion at the hand-off plane," explained Starbucks then president and COO Kevin Johnson on a conference call in late January.
If Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) had one foot in the grave coming into the year, then it has just dipped the second foot into a six foot hole. The dying retailer said in a new filing on Friday that same-store sales since the start of the year crashed 11.9% between its two banners. Excluding one-time gains related to the sale of the Craftsman tool business and certain real estate, Sears lost between $190 million to $230 million. That is worse than a year ago when it lost $181 million. Sears also announced the departure of CFO Jason Hollar, who had only been on the job for about six months. The company hinted strongly it will move to shutter more stores beyond the round of 150 closures it just completed.
A Blackstone (NYSE: BX) executive criticized a Citigroup analyst in a testy exchange during the asset manager's earnings call Thursday. "We think the value is there, but we don't have confidence enough in you guys to figure that out because you have disappointed us consistently," said President and Chief Operating Officer Tony James on the firm's conference call. Earlier on the call, Stephen Schwarzman , Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, said that shares of the private equity firm should be trading above $100 a share if it was valued the same way as the average S&P company based on dividend yield.