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"Speculation that Starbucks is losing retail market share to competitors has been grossly exaggerated. Our customers are not trading down." (Howard Schultz, chairman of Starbucks, announcing lower pricing on certain items in some markets to combat slower sales. The Seattle-based chain reported a 77 percent drop in earnings for the first quarter, as same-store sales tumbled eight percent. They registered declines in number of customer transactions and value per transaction, as well. Reported by Nation's Restaurant News.)