Will Starbucks' 2-for-1 holiday offer jolly its sales?

Last Updated Nov 9, 2017 11:47 AM EST

Starbucks (SBUX) is hoping the holidays bring a dose of good cheer -- and higher sales -- after a lackluster summer failed to deliver a much-needed jolt to its business.

The coffee chain said it's kicking off its holiday season with a buy-one-get-one-free promotion for its holiday drinks, which include toasted white chocolate mochas and eggnog lattes. The promotion starts Thursday, Nov. 9 and ends Monday, Nov. 13. The offer is available each of those days between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. 

The offer comes on the heels of a lackluster fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Oct. 1, when revenue missed analysts' expectations. Despite trotting out long-time favorites such as fall's pumpkin spice latte and designing new drinks such as the unicorn Frappuccino, the chain is struggling with decaffeinated demand. This year's string of Gulf Coast hurricanes has caused some locations to close, adding another lump in Starbucks' stocking. 

Shares of Starbucks could use some holiday goodwill. The stock is down almost 6 percent during the past six months, while the S&P 500 has climbed 6 percent during the same time period. 

The lower-than-expected sales at Starbucks comes after the company revamped its loyalty program, a change that was unwelcome among fans. The company is also fending off competition from smaller chains that appeal to younger consumers, as well as Dunkin' Donuts, whose parent company Dunkin Brands Group (DNKN) is focusing more on coffee and less on doughnuts.

So far, reaction on social media to the two-for-one offer appears positive, with consumers tweeting about their plans to claim the promotion. 

The company is adding two new holiday drinks to its lineup this year: a toasted white chocolate mocha and a chestnut praline chai tea latte. Other holiday drinks include its holiday spice flat white, a gingerbread latte, a caramel brûlée latte and eggnog latte and a peppermint mocha.