According to The Huffington Post Starbucks recently announced it will be opening three stores in Seattle, Washington, as a trial to see if a new ‘independent’ coffee shop idea under Starbucks ownership will work. Starbucks is seeing sales fall worldwide as their coffee and tea prices continue to increase, and customers now think they are ‘premium’ coffee, so a waste of money. In a recession, most people don’t waste money on expensive coffee so Starbucks has been seeing declining sales for almost two years now.
Corporate Starbucks obviously knew they had to find a solution to their worsening problem so, enter the new idea. Open up new coffee shops but, instead of naming them ‘Starbucks’, name them something independent sounding. And, although they’re not saying so, it seems likely it’s an attempt to fool the customer into thinking they’re supporting an independent coffee shop and not Starbucks.
The first one opening in Seattle is called “15th Avenue Coffee and Tea” and will serve coffee and tea drinks as well as alcohol (beer and wine). 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea is an existing Starbucks, that will have its’ name changed to sound like an independent coffee shop. The other two shops opening will be brand new shops, so, unless you do a lot of research, you’re unlikely to know you’re supporting Starbucks, especially as they won’t be serving Starbucks coffee either.
Starbucks has also said the new stores will be ‘eco-friendly stores’, so I guess they think if they jump on that band wagon too, they’ll be successful. Please. Do they really think the consumer is that stupid?
In fact, according to The Huffington Post, the founder of coffee consulting group CafeMakers says it looks to him like Starbucks is serving a sub-standard brand of coffee in order to bring in customers who want a cheaper price. Nice move, Starbucks! Cheat your customers into thinking they’re supporting an independent coffee shop and serve them cheap coffee at the same time. Bet your prices won’t be that much cheaper though!
So, if you want yet another reason to boycott Starbucks, trying to fool consumers into thinking they’re getting something they’re not getting and supporting something they’re not supporting is a really low thing to do. Starbucks have always had questionable morals when it comes to how they do business (exorbitantly high prices for coffee and confectionary, opening Starbucks stores in neighborhoods with independent coffee shops then doing everything they can to close the independent coffee shop down etc etc) so I haven’t bought Starbucks coffee for years. I will also make sure I won’t be buying coffee at any of their ‘independent stores’ either.
If you too have a problem with how Starbucks does business, think again before you purchase coffee from any new ‘independent coffee shops’ popping up in your neighborhood, especially if they look just a bit too sleek. Do your research first and, if you find they’re Starbucks owned, support a truly independent coffee shop instead. Because, if you don’t, and Starbucks continues to have its way, there won’t be any independent coffee shops left, and that would be very sad.
SOURCES: The Huffington Post – Starbucks Hides Its Name In New Stores and St Louis Dispatch – Starbucks Tests New Name For Eco-Friendly Store