Blogs > City Editor's Blog

By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Starbucks stops here

I take no joy in learning a business is suffering and jobs will be lost. But it’s hard not to snicker a little over the impending shutdown of 600 Starbucks coffee shops.

After exploding across America in an era of ridiculous excess, Starbucks – the Seattle-based chain that insists on calling a small cup of joe a “tall” and the person who makes the brew a “barista,” and has the arrogance to think it can maintain more than one store on the same block in a big city – finally is being forced to face the hard truth: In an era of paying $4 for a gallon of gasoline, consumers have realized it's ridiculous to pay $4 for a cup of coffee.

And perhaps those same consumers have realized Starbucks’ coffee really isn’t superior to the less-expensive java available by the can in grocery stores or by the cup at places like Dunkin’ Donuts, the neighborhood diner or such popular Hudson Valley haunts as Monkey Joe Roasting Co. and The Muddy Cup.

The comedian Lewis Black has joked that a sure sign of the apocalypse is when “there’s a Starbucks across from a Starbucks.” Well, fear not, Lewis. The end is not nigh, for Starbucks has said some of the first stores it will close are ones in the same neighborhoods as others. (You mean it took a faltering economy for Stabucks to figure out that operating two identical stores nearly side by side wasn’t the most brilliant business model? Amazing.)

And fear not, fair consumers. Coffee still will be available to you, even if your local Starbucks is lost. The only difference will be you’ll pay a whole lot less for something that probably is just as good.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home