Starbucks Is Closing Its Doors

At least 600 of them, which is more than previously announced.  According to an article on’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

This is a post for Watercooler Wednesday and Works for Me Wednesday


6 thoughts on “Starbucks Is Closing Its Doors

  1. Great post. I loved the comments you posted from other people. I have been off caffeine for a few days now and was sorry to see that because of me they will be closing several stores. I’ll try to do better.

  2. I’m not a fan of Starbucks, never have been – neither their coffee nor their shops. BUT I do love coffee and I do love Coffee Shops. I tried to like Starbucks. I loved the IDEA of Starbucks. That idea was: great coffee – among friends, or… a place to read, write, or do a little work. Not so much at Starbucks. I, too, love the local coffee shops where familiar faces are on both sides of the counter. Now if could just deliver chocolate truffles to Merridees, we’d have it all – coffee, friends AND chocolate (plus larger tables and WiFi)

  3. We don’t have any SB within 60 miles so it’s not a huge issue for me. We do have Tim Hortons which is the largest coffee franchise in Canada. I prefer a local one called the “coffee merchant”! Great coffee and free wi-fi

  4. I don’t know…Starbucks’ regular coffee is too strong for me. But during the winter, there is nothing like a triple-venti-peppermint mocha-soy-no foam-extra hot latte. It just fits my holiday mood….and probably explains the extra 5 pounds I put on.

    I’m still fairly new to the old downtown Franklin scene….but now that I work on Main Street, my boss and clients are all about meeting at Merridee’s, which I really love. But for some reason I seem to prefer Puckett’s. I try to work from Puckett’s a couple of mornings a week just to get my grasp of the day before heading to the office, because once I’m in the office all heck breaks lose and I tend not to see the light of day until about 5p or 6p. And that’s a good day. 🙂

  5. My college roommate is a master roaster, so I’ve been anti-Starbucks for a long time. When you have beans hand roasted for you right at home, nothing else can top that. And this guy KNOWS coffee. One sip of any black coffee you set in front of him and he can tell you what kind of beans they are, where in the world they were grown, how they were roasted, and how long ago ground. And he’s right every time. And this guy who knows coffee- HATES Sbux. They burn their beans. On purpose. You cannot drink their coffee black. So instead of a $1.40 cup of black coffee, you MUST get the $4 all things added, just to make it tolerable Andrea’s comment above about their coffee being “too strong”…it isn’t strong, it’s burned. Good coffee, even in espresso, is never bitter…it actually has a smoothness to it. Almost creamy even. All by itself.

    BTW, for anyone living near Cincinnati…The Main Cup on Main St in Milford. His name is Steve.

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