Buy Tickets

Howard D. Schultz

Starbucks expresses confidence in rewards overhaul

Starbucks expressed confidence Thursday that an overhaul of its rewards program will drive up sales over the long term, but warned that the transition could be bumpy.

The comments came after the company reported sales growth for the first three months of the year that fell short of Wall Street expectations. The Seattle-based chain said global comparable sales rose 6 percent, including a 7 percent increase in its flagship U.S. market.

While it's still early, Starbucks said spending is up across loyalty members, including those who stood to lose out from the change.

"We are not seeing any of the noise that has been speculated on," said Matt Ryan, Starbucks'...