WSJ: Look who’s getting Apple, Starbucks stock

Starbucks gives company stock to its baristas. Apple awards shares to its retail workers. Not quite the same thing.

From Apple, Starbucks Have an Answer for the Tight Job Market in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal ($):

U.S. companies are collecting record amounts of cash in their coffers, and many can’t think of anything better to do with it than buy back their stock. Here’s a better idea: Hand out some of those shares to rank-and-file employees.

Starbucks Corp.  has been awarding shares to baristas since the 1990s. The company says it has granted more than $1 billion in equity under its “Bean Stock” program. It currently offers restricted stock vesting over two years to nearly all employees.

Apple Inc. in 2015 initiated a restricted-stock program that includes grants to retail employees. A worker getting $1,000 in Apple stock at that time would have seen the investment grow to more than $1,800 as of this week, including dividends…

Apple earlier this year awarded $2,500 restricted-stock grants to employees following the passage of the Trump administration’s tax cuts. It has also repurchased $200 billion of its stock since 2012, and its board authorized another $100 billion buyback program just before the company released second-quarter results in May.

My take: Giving SBUX only to baristas is like giving AAPL only to the geniuses.

CORRECTION: As the Journal reported, Starbucks gives nearly all employees—not just baristas—restricted stock vesting over two years. For the business its in, Starbucks has a pretty good employee retention rate: 65% compared with 150%-200% for most quick-serve franchises. Still, given the relatively high turnover rate, it’s likely that most non-baristas never see those SBUX shares. 

6 Comments

  1. Fred Stein said:

    Curious: What is Apple’s retail employee turnover compare to high-end retail?

    Apple retail employees have another side benefit. It looks better on a resume than most other retail jobs because everyone knows that Apple has high standards.

    0
    July 21, 2018
  2. Gregg Thurman said:

    I made friends with an Apple store rep back in 2010. She has risen to where she is now one of the shift managers. In the past I talked to her about employee turnover. Her comment was that most think of the Apple Store as a one or two year resume “sparkler”.

    Having the Apple Store on your resume is considered a door opener for a number of reasons, not least of which are communication/people and technical skills. Some employers are hoping for “Apple Secret Sauce” osmosis into their own operations. Some Store managers have been recruited away to other firms.

    My friend (who is married) has no such ambitions. She likes the working atmosphere and being able to work with, as she put it, “young” people.

    1
    July 21, 2018
  3. David Drinkwater said:

    Philip, what are you thinking a barista is at Starbucks? I believe it’s the people who actually stand in the stores and make your coffee (i.e. Line Worker).

    1
    July 21, 2018
    • Fred Stein said:

      Agree David. I have never gotten a proper cappuccino at Starbucks – not even close.

      0
      July 21, 2018
      • David Emery said:

        Caribou’s espresso is much better, IMHO. But I do like Starbucks’ regular dark coffees.

        0
        July 22, 2018
      • David Drinkwater said:

        I wasn;t imugning the people of Starbucks. I’ve always quite liked Americano’s. I’m just saying that Starbucks is not withholding ist giving to the upper ranks alone.

        0
        July 22, 2018

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