The whole-bean sales record comes just a week after Starbucks outlined a new strategy to investors, which features more whole-bean sales in grocery stores. Update: Starbucks spokeswoman Stacey Krum wrote to say the whole-bean record was just in Starbucks stores, not grocery stores.

The whole-bean sales record comes just a week after Starbucks outlined a new strategy to investors, which features more whole-bean sales in grocery stores. Update: Starbucks spokeswoman Stacey Krum wrote to say the whole-bean record was just in Starbucks stores, not grocery stores.

To: All Starbucks partners
Date: December 8, 2010
Re: End of Year Thank You from Howard Schultz

Dear partners,

As 2010 comes to a close, I want to take a moment to wish you and your family a happy holiday season as well as share my thoughts as we end what has been a momentous year for our company.

As many of you know, last week was our biennial Investor Conference in New York. Members of the Leadership Team and I presented, with sincere confidence and optimism, an overview of our business and our vision for the future, which included our Blueprint for Profitable Growth. Our more diversified, multi-channel and multi-brand business model was extremely well received, as reflected in the rise in the stock price and many analyst notes, which further emphasized our global growth opportunities.

Following the conference, John Culver and I flew to Mexico where we celebrated the opening of our 300th store, eight years after we opened our first store in Mexico City. The leadership team and I have traveled around the globe these past few months, and the progress that our International business has made in 2010 as it brought new discipline, ideas and leadership to local markets and delivered record performance, speaks volumes about the efforts of so many partners around the world.

The company is wrapping up the calendar year on a high note. Although still early, the Holiday promotion is going strong. Christmas Blend in both whole bean and Starbucks VIA® are extremely popular with our customers. In fact, day two of our 12 Days of Sharing, December 2, was our single highest day for whole-bean coffee sales in our history–a testament to the delicious blend our Coffee team and roasting plants crafted this year, and the marketing teams that bring the coffees the attention they deserve.