Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Starbucks to Close 600 Stores, Evict Freelancers

Starbucks announced yesterday that they'll be closing 600 poor performing company-run stores in the next year. Some analysts suggest this might just be the beginning of the closures for the company, after years of rapid expansion (overexpansion?) that led to frequent jokes about the proximity of the storefronts.

Judging from who is in my local Starbucks whenever I stop by, it looks like freelancers and computer programmers will be hardest hit, having to actually work from their homes or find another food purveyor offering WiFi.

I wonder if Winter (the Starbucks guy from the film STARBUCKING) is anxiously waiting to see if any of the stores being closed are on his "To Visit" list.


Winter said...

YES I AM!!! I'm very worried some will close before I get to them. Check my travel blog for the gruesome details.

John said...

All sympathies to the previous poster. However, he shouldn't feel so bad if he looks at it this way: when some Starbucks close, they can easily be knocked off the list, since they don't count anymore!

As far as Starbucks goes, I heard something on NPR's Marketplace show today about this very thing. One interviewee, a Manhattan-based Starbucks enthusiast, suggested it was karma biting Starbucks in the ass - it really is its own competition. They really, REALLY over-expanded, and it's their own damn fault. I feel bad for the franchisees and their employees, not as much for the patrons - they'll find other coffee shops. But I feel no sympathy for the Starbucks corporation whatsoever. This is the same corporation that set out to open about 250 Starbucks in London over a ten year period, literally one every other week (they announced this in 2006; referenced in this BBC story). Nope, serves Starbucks right.

The Baltimore Babe said...

Could this be a sign of the times to come?

fidge dextro said...

As someone who has never set foot in a Starbucks, I could care less about their future. I remember their CEO (or whoever) talking about massive expansion just a couple of years ago, and now they're closing stores. Hey, when Consumer Reports ranks your brand behind McDonald's and Burger King, the overpriced bluff has finally been called. But, oh my, where will Paul McCartney sell his next album? No more caffe classics like "Dance Tonight"? What will the world do? Me, I'm going to my local diner tomorrow morning for breakfast and have a bottomless cup of joe for a buck. No star required.