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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第1章 经济类 Unit 5

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2019年01月04日

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No one can accuse Howard Schultz of inaction since he returned as chief executive of Starbucks,the firm he built into a multinational only to watch it stumble under his successor.Barely a month has gone by over the past year without the firm announcing some new initiative or other.The latest came on February 17th in New York,when Mr Schultz unveiled Via,an instant coffee which,he claims,tastes just as good as Java brewed in the shop by one of the firm's baristas. 
Mr Schultz hopes to win a share of the $17 billion or so the world spends on instant coffee—a product which,he sniffs,has not improved in decades.Starbucks itself has spent 20 years pursuing the holy grail of an instant coffee that tastes as good as the fresh stuff.Don Valencia,the firm's first head of research and development,who created the blended and frozen frappuccino drinks that earn Starbucks $2 billion a year,could never find a way to scale up an instant formula he had developed at home. When Mr Schultz returned as chief executive,he noticed that there had been some technological advances,allowing finer grinding,for example.So he asked the R&D team to repeat the recently deceased Valencia's experiments,and found that“we had broken the code”.The name Via is a hat-tip to Valencia—though during development it was known as Jaws (just add water,stir). 
Starbucks says it has patents that should prevent competitors from quickly replicating Via,which will go on sale in some American stores next month.The opportunity may,however,be biggest in other countries: in Britain over 80% of coffee sold is instant,compared with just 10% in America. 
Assuming Starbucks drinkers decide that Via tastes good,the company will have to get the price right.At first,it will come in packets of 12 or 3 individual servings,for 83 and 98 cents a cup respectively.That is much more than other instants,but much less than a cup of coffee at one of Starbucks’ stores.The risk is that the firm's existing customers may abandon counter service and start making their own cup of instant.That would encourage them to visit Starbucks less often,a trend that is already gathering pace with the recession.For the first time in Starbucks’ history,same-store sales have fallen. 
Mr Schultz has had to accelerate the store-closure programme that he had started in order to correct the over-expansion which prompted his return to the helm.To keep customers coming to remaining outlets,he might experiment with discounts such as cheap“combination meals” of a drink and food.He also wants a visit to a Starbucks shop to be a“uniquely uplifting experience”.Improving the smell in stores by changing the cheese used in breakfast sandwiches was a start.But ensuring that staff are enthusiastic will be especially difficult when jobs are disappearing.Mr Schultz remains hostile to unions,but has decided to maintain the firm's popular health benefits,while cutting his own pay. 
Will all this be enough? So far,investors seem sceptical: Starbucks’ share price remains barely a quarter of its all-time high in 2006. 
注(1):本文选自Economist; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象:第1题模仿2006年真题Text 1第4题,第2题模仿2006年真题Text 1第1题,第3题模仿2015年真题Text 1第2题,第4、5题模仿2007年真题Text 2第1、5题。 
1.The reason why the author maintains that Howard Schultz should not be blamed of inaction is most probably because ______. 
A) he would not allow his successor to destroy Starbucks 
B) Starbucks spent the entire last year developing the new instant coffee 
C) the new instant coffee is of the same quality as that brewed in the shop 
D) he launched the new instant coffee after his return 
2.The word“hat-tip” (Line 8,Paragraph 2)most probably means ______. 
A) reward 
B) achievement 
C) surprise 
D) tribute 
3.The risk of launching the instant coffee Via is that______. 
A) it can be quickly imitated by market competitors 
B) customers may patronize Starbucks store less 
C) it may fail to cater to customers’ taste 
D) the high price will prohibit people from mass purchase 
4.According to the text,which of the following was a common practice in Starbucks before? 
A) Starbucks hired baristas to guarantee the quality of the coffee brewed. 
B) Starbucks was a major player in the market of instant coffee. 
C) Starbucks provided“combination meals” with fair discounts. 
D) In Starbucks,employees had a high pressure of losing job. 
5.The author's attitude towards Schultz's new measures seems to be ______. 
A) biased 
B) critical 
C) objective 
D) pessimistic 

没有任何人可以指责重返星巴克担任首席执行官的霍华德·舒尔茨无所作为,星巴克曾在他的经营管理下被缔造成跨国集团,然而却在他的继任者手中变得举步维艰。过去的一年里,星巴克没有推出什么新举措,而今年刚刚过了一个月,舒尔茨便于2月17日在纽约推出新的产品——一款速溶咖啡Via。舒尔茨声称,Via的味道与星巴克咖啡师在店里调配的Java咖啡一样香醇。 
舒尔茨先生希望在全球约170亿美元的速溶咖啡市场上攻下一席之地。他对速溶咖啡这种产品在过去的几十年里一点儿都没改进嗤之以鼻。星巴克耗时20年,一直在锲而不舍地研发顶级的速溶咖啡,使其味道与新磨的咖啡一样好。星巴克公司研发部的首席研发负责人唐·巴伦西亚曾研发出了混合冷冻的星冰乐咖啡,这款咖啡每年为星巴克赚得20亿美元。他在家中研发出一个速溶咖啡配方,却一直无法找到将其规模化生产的方法。当舒尔茨先生重返星巴克担任首席执行官时,他注意到公司在技术上有了一些进步,例如更精细的研磨技术。因此,他要求研发团队重做不久前逝世的巴伦西亚的实验,结果发现“我们终于破译了密码”。他把这款速溶咖啡命名为Via,以向巴伦西亚(Valencia)致敬,虽然在开发过程中该产品被称为Jaws,是英文just add water,stir(只需加水,搅拌)的缩写。 
星巴克表示已经为Via申请了专利,以防止竞争者迅速仿制。Via将于下个月在美国的一些星巴克店开始出售。不过,其他国家的市场机会可能最大:英国80%以上的在售咖啡是速溶的,相比之下,美国速溶咖啡只占10%。 
假设星巴克的顾客认为Via好喝,公司还必须为该产品制定合理的价格。首先,它会分为12袋或3袋装,分别为83美分和98美分一杯。这个价格比其他速溶咖啡贵很多,但却远远低于在任何一家星巴克门店的花费。其市场的风险在于,公司现有的顾客可能会放弃柜台服务,转而自己冲泡速溶咖啡。这将使他们去星巴克门店消费的次数减少,而经济危机以来光顾星巴克的客人已经在不断减少。这是在星巴克历史上首次同店销售额下降。 
舒尔茨先生已经不得不加快实施他提出的关店计划,以纠正过度的扩张,这也是促使他重返星巴克掌舵的原因。对于剩下的店铺,为了保持客源,他可能会尝试打折优惠,如超值的饮料和食物的“组合套餐”。他还希望顾客来星巴克时能获得一种“独特的、令人振奋的体验”。更换三明治早餐里的奶酪以改善店里的味道,这就是一个开始。然而当工作岗位不断减少时,要确保员工的工作热情就变得尤其困难。虽然舒尔茨先生仍然反对工会,但他决定保持该公司员工的医疗福利,同时降低自己的工资。 
所有这些举措够吗?迄今为止,投资者似乎一直持怀疑态度:星巴克目前的股价仍然只是2006年最高价位的四分之一。 
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