(yeah, I know – two posts in one day … now don’t faint …)
Breaking news just in – Starbucks, the mega US coffee shop chain has just announced (about half an hour ago) that it will be shutting the doors on 61 of it’s outlets in Australia immediately, pouring (pardon the pun) 685 workers back into the unemployed queue.
This follows on from their announcement last month that they will be closing down 600 stores in their native America.
I have several friends who are going to stand up and cheer at the news that Starbucks is retreating from the Australian market (they’re keeping open 23 stores in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne – for the US tourists, I suspect) – as they have refused to patronise either Starbucks or Gloria Jeans, due to them being US imports.
I will admit that I avoid both chains as well – mainly due to having friends who run cafes and preferring to give my money to local businesses as much as possible with petrol prices, mortgages and the cost of living generally on the rise.
That said, when I was in LA and New York, I did partake of the Starbucks brew. When in Rome, etc, etc. I don’t know if it’s about people not being able to afford coffee, people not liking the Starbucks coffee or people over here just not liking all things American at the moment, but it just shows that no matter how big you’re perceived to be in the market you operate in, or how safe that market looks (everyone drinks coffee, right?) – nobody is immune to the impact of these troubled financial times.
Of course, some might call it karma, considering Starbucks’ history of not always being true to their brand’s own philosophy of “… being all about humanity” (does anyone remember the Ethiopian coffee row? Actually, was that ever officially sorted out?).
Ultimately, I’d suggest buying your own espresso machine and making your cappuccinos at home – it’s cheaper in the long run (and doesn’t involve buying petrol). But if you do go out for your mocha latte, then choose to visit your local, independent cafe – sounds like they might need the business.
And the official announcement from Starbucks itself:
Starbucks Australia website