Discount brew at the Green Machine

Starbucks in decline? You be the judgeStarbucks is testing $1 coffee and free refills in its Seattle outlets as the global specialty coffee chain grapples with a downward trend in consumer spending and rising competition from fast-food rivals like McDonalds.

It seems that their share price is now half of what it used to be. Chances are this is more an indicator of investor jitters than anything else. It is not like the quality of their coffee has gone down hill or anything – because it hasn’t.

Combine that with a healthier new attitude about fat and calories and the result is – The classic Vente Mocha with extra whip is not getting ordered as often as it once was.

So. Starbucks has Howard Schultz back in the chief executive saddle. It also said it’s closing under-performing U.S. outlets to speed up international growth.

Times they are indeed a changing.