At least 600 of them, which is more than previously announced. According to an article on CNNMoney.com’s Fortune blog, they are facing issues on multiple fronts. Oversaturation in the marketplace, tougher economic times and a less than stellar public image as of late has hampered the coffee king and is forcing their hand for dramatic change.
This article has fascinating comments. The range of Yeahs to Nays were wide. Most folks seemed to be a former fans or haters, opting for local coffee shops, indie types, or your basic McD’s or gas station coffee. There were obviously supporters of SBUX and even a few champions. And as always you have the random idiot posting things about the Christian boycot as the reason for the downfall or the lastest intro of Pike’s Place brew. I found a coupe favorite comments. They’re articulate and for the most part accurately represent how I personally feel. Take a read…
As a former Starbucks loyalist, I must say that it is a shame to see this once mighty company struggle. However, they did get a little big for their britches and regardless of the economy, their pricing model is downright aweful, not to mention their influx of political and/or religious ramblings on their coffee cups! I recently read a post from someone that had a very interesting observation about the lack of free wi-fi at SBUX locations. They said that it (FREE wi-fi) in today’s world is not a luxury….it is a CONDIMENT that should be right there along with the sugar, powdered cocoa and napkins. They are right! I still admire Starbucks however they would be wise to come down from their pedestal, lower their prices to remain competitive, offer more incentives to patron the store (i.e. FREE wi-fi) and focus on building their brand awareness in a changing economy or….like many of these posts indicate, we will spend our money elsewhere! I can tell you that I already have. Posted By J. Scott- Tacoma, WA
Starbucks’ expansion plan under Jim McDonald was unnecessary, overambitious and probably not all that well thought out. And, unfortunately, it was emblematic of the mind-set, attitude and approach of many U.S. business leaders (and home owners) which led to the current financial crisis — rapid, massive and canibalizing expansion (e.g., bigger stores, more stores, bigger houses) without a valid need, justification or reason to do so. Jim, here’s the lesson — bigger is not always better and the drive to be the biggest can have devastating effects on the world economy…stated in coffee-lingo, sometimes its best to go for a decaf tall rather than a triple expresso grande. Posted By Alex, Northbrook, IL
Two themes here that depict basic business concepts that sometimes even the best of companies stray from: 1) Give the customer VALUE. 2) Bigger is not always better.
Starbucks is a cultural icon, but icon or not, if you are not exceeding your customers expectations you will lose. If you are going to charge for coffee/lattes the same amount of money that buys one gallon of gas, you had better make it an valuable experience. And quite frankly it’s not. Small uncomfortable chairs, tiny tables, no free wi-fi, excessively loud baristas – ummm no. Remember when Starbucks was a unique location to venture to for that meeting. Now within a 7 mile radius in Franklin there are 5 Starbucks. What once was a distinguished place to venture for a cup of java has become the McDonald’s of coffee shops. Cookie cutter coffee house with lack luster service. (No offense McD’s, I’m just sayin’) Once again where is the value?
Do I still go to Starbucks? Yes, but typically only after Merridee’s closes. I prefer Merridee’s (our local eatery) for several reasons. I have been going there since 1991 when I first moved to downtown Franklin. But I want to just compare java to java and leave loyalty out of it. 1) The atmosphere is unique, tables are bigger, so are the chairs. 2) It has a much better selection of pasteries. 3) It has free Wi-Fi. Not pseudo free. Not free for some. It’s free for all who enter. Very important to me!!! 4) They know my name. I had actually been going to Starbucks more often than Merridee’s for a short period of time back in February (due to a mild addiction to skinny vanilla lattes). Then I realized that in a span of a few weeks or so 3 of the employees at Merridees knew me by name and 1 specifically knew my order by heart. Double Latte, Skim Milk, 1 Splenda – $3.44. Not much cheaper than Starbucks, but no one at Starbucks even recognized me as a repeat customer. That was it for me. That and the fact that when I walked by on Tuesday night, 2 high school/college age girls were arguing over which table to sit at outside so the cars could see them better – Ummm no.
So how do you drink your coffee? At home, Mom&Pop, SBUX…
How do you feel about the big Starbucks machine taking a dip? Raw deal, They’ll be back, Deserve it…
Read the complete article here: Starbucks has a bitter plan By Scott Moritz