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What do diapers, computer chips, lumber, and your morning coffee have in common? They are all getting more difficult to procure right now, thanks to the unprecedented supply chain disruption caused by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

Where’s the oat milk?

At the start of the pandemic, Starbucks emerged as a retail winner, rapidly pivoting from its “third place” branding strategy to one that is more technology-reliant.

By springing into action to fast track further development of its mobile ordering platform, loyalty programs and curbside and delivery options, Starbucks initially emerged from the pandemic relatively unscathed, with its U.S. sales already back to pre-pandemic levels earlier this year.

Starbucks’ strong digital game allowed the retailer to retain its customer base because it swiftly found a way to still give consumers what they wanted, despite the inability to welcome them into its stores. But all the quick thinking in the world cannot fix something completely out of even Starbucks’ control—a global supply chain breakdown.

Like many other retailers all over the world, Starbucks is experiencing shortages of everything from peach juice and oat milk to straws, lids and even cups in which to pour its famous beverages.

“If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed more than anything, it is just how brittle our supply chain is, and it’s brittle everywhere,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner and co-founder of Retail Systems Research, when she joined RETHINK Retail on a recent episode of Retail Rundown to host a discussion about supply chain agility. “We’ve seen shortages impacting nearly every industry out there.”

Read the full publication here: ReThink Retail