America’s SOS: Save our Starbucks

The Wall Street Journal reports on an interesting phenomenon which greeted Starbucks when it announced it would close 600 stores across America:

“It is an unusual twist in the saga of Starbucks, one of the fastest-growing retailers of the past decade. For years, Starbucks gained attention when a town didn’t welcome it. Independent coffee shops complained about the big-muscled competition, and residents bemoaned the erosion of local character.

But ever since Starbucks announced this month that it would close 600 stores by early next year, as its business struggles, the rallying cause has switched to saving these endangered locations.”Wall Street Journal

American blogs have been quick to leap on the Save our Starbucks campaign… here’s a taster of the conversation.

Why people get so upset about losing their neighbourhood Starbucks. For Starbucks to leave means that your part of town, in terms of social psychology, is downwardly mobile. That, I think, is what most rattles folks about losing their Starbucks, even if they rarely went there. It’s a status thing. — Dallas Morning News [via Starbucks Gossip]

Americans can’t see what is staring them in the face. The plain fact is, most Americans can no longer afford Starbucks. The ingredients used to make these products are beyond the reach of Americans now, just like gas and housing. And this is just the beginning. As current trends relating to the dollar’s collapse continue — Starbucks will have to double and triple their prices and close hundreds more stores. — Huffington Post

Do people really care? Gawker blog The Consumerist wasn’t convinced by “the single example” given in the Wall Street Journal article and had a look at the Save Starbucks website to grab some entertaining quotes from the guestbook.  We quite liked: “”You’ll piss and moan about $4 gas but think nothing of paying $4 for a pint of coffee. You morons, that’s $32 per gallon.” — The Consumerist

 

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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