In many ways, the announcement a few weeks ago that Starbucks is closing 600 of its stores is a victory for small business. After years of small coffee shops complaining that that the coffee behemoth was swiping business from them—Starbucks has finally gotten its comeuppance. Given that the stores are closing, it also seems clear that consumers aren’t feeling the same Starbucks love they did for years either. Whether that’s because they’re tightening their belt by forgoing $5 frapps, or because their passion for triple venti lattes has waned is unclear.
The bottom line, though, is that Starbucks is hurting from a decline in sales.
Despite that, the Wall Street Journal reports that there’s a growing group of Starbucks’ fanatics who are leading the charge to keep their Starbucks from closing after the list of doomed stores was released last week. Says one woman quoted in the piece:
“‘Now that it’s going away, we’re devastated,’ said Kate Walker, a facilities manager for software company SunGard Financial Systems who recently learned of a store closing in New York City.”
Really? Devastated? But, oh no, she’s not alone. Consumerist points out that there’s even a [low-rent] website called “Save Starbucks” where devotees can sign a guestbook proclaiming their love for the company. But given all the bad press Starbucks has received over the years, and the finger pointing by small coffee shop owners and hipsters, one wonders whether these fanatics actually exist—and if they’re really en masse?
Let’s hear from you. What do you think about Starbucks these days? And would you be peeved—or worse—if your corner Starbucks closed? Or did you already patronize the indy shop down the street anyway? Free triple pump no-fat non-caf latte from our local Starbucks (which hasn’t closed) to the person with the most impassioned answer.