Citigroup created a storm of controversy earlier this week when it was revealed that the ailing bank planned to go ahead with the purchase of a $50 million corporate jet. It looks like the public reaction—which included a condemnation from President Obama and members of Congress—and the bank's decision to abandon the deal are being heard loud and clear across corporate America. We can report that Starbucks, which faced harsh criticism two weeks ago after it was revealed that the coffee giant had purchased a $45 million Gulfstream 550, is now looking to sell the plane, less than a month after taking delivery of the aircraft.
Starbucks ordered the 19-seat plane three years ago; it only arrived at Starbucks' headquarters, though, in early December, and spent two weeks parked in Hawaii, where the company's CEO, Howard Schultz, was on a "personal and business trip," according to a spokesperson.
It appears the company's ongoing financial woes—profits are down and it's been announced that more than 600 stores are closing—and the threat of more bad press have prompted a change of direction. When news of the purchase was first revealed, Starbucks said it had decided against cancelling the contract since doing so would cost the company $5 million in penalties. Starbucks will likely take a bigger loss by delaying the decision. The plane that cost the company an estimated $45 million may be worth as little as $30 million due to plunging market demand.
Just how much Starbucks is hoping to get for the plane is unclear. The Maryland-based broker selling it didn't post a price tag; interested buyers can call to "inquire." Pictures of the plane that you paid for thanks to your daily Frappuccino habit are below. You can also download the sales brochure here.