Starbucks planning big annoucement on February 17, the suggestions box is open

A curious invite dropped into my inbox, to come meet Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at an event in New York on February 17 for "a special announcement regarding innovation, competition and value." The invitation is not transferrable, so I'm going to hop on down there myself to find out what the big secret is all about, because the PR spokesperson would not elaborate when I asked for more details.

So what is coming next from Starbucks? They already have announced the value menu deals for breakfast sandwiches, souped up new coffee creations, given away goodies for election day and other special events and done everything possible to try to get customers in the door.

UPDATE: Could the new innovation be a soluble coffee product called "Via"? That's what AdAge is reporting. What exactly is a "soluble coffee product"? Think instant coffee granules.

If Schultz and his team are still sorting out what their next big idea is for saving the company, I've got a few suggestions.

For starters, Starbucks could start offering more programs for in-house services in their shops -- call it the Wal-Mart plan, where you can get everything under the sun done all day at your local Starbucks. You could tune up your resume with a career coach, have a therapy appointment, meet your investment counselor, have a date and so forth. And Starbucks could take a cut of each service provider for providing free wi-fi and coffee for them throughout the day.

What about you? Send in your grand plans for making over Starbucks and I'll compile them and pass them along to my contact!

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