The Starbucks Breakup

July 18, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Jonathan A. Knee writes that New York’s love affair with Starbucks has turned sour. He juxtaposed the courtship years with the loveless middle age relationship that has now emerged. Highlights include:

  • Starbucks in NYC used to work to make you believe that you had left the city:
    • Comfortable chairs distracted from urban life.
    • Cheap refills for discount hungry citizens.
    • Well-stocked bathrooms
  • Now however:
    • The chairs are gone, and many Starbucks’ are now standing room only.
    • Since your refill is only eligible if you drank your drink in the store, Starbucks is now moving to eliminate refills since people aren’t likely to finish their drinks in a store without sitting room.
    • Starbucks no longer wants to be New York City’s public bathroom.
  • Perhaps the reason for the change is that when it first entered the New York market Starbucks was a young chain looking to grow.
  • But today New York’s stores represent just 1% of Starbucks’ total stores.
  • Luckily competitors are moving in to fill the gap.

To read more including how Starbucks used to make you forget how rude New Yorkers can be, how competitors are responding to Starbucks’ transformation, the end of free Wi-Fi, and the rise of anti-Starbucks websites click here. It’s a short, entertaining, and well-written article.

Source: Slate