Thursday, April 24, 2008

Oh Dear, How Sad, Never Mind....


What wonderful news!

7 comments:

Nick said...

Sure, wonderful if you hate global capitalism, but not so wonderful for those American workers who are now getting so poor that they an't even afford a cup of crappy coffee. Spare a passing thought for them, Neil, while you're busy rubbing your hands in glee.

Neil Clark said...

Hi Nick,

Starbucks has replaced cheaper, locally owned coffee stores across the US and in many countries in the world too. So the decline of Starbucks can only be good news for people on low incomes. If Starbucks and other global coffee chains no longer existed, then we'd go back to what we had before, lots of locally owned and much cheaper outlets. A world without the likes of Starbucks/Coffee Republic and co would be a much better world for all of us.

Douglas said...

I noticed the article mentioned that Starbucks was not having the same decline in the UK as in America. However, there wasn't any explanation given as to why. Any thoughts?

My nearest Starbucks in St. Paul, Minnesota, reports going to more-or-less free wi-fi (with a registered Starbucks card) by the end of summer.

A lot of coffee shops didn't exist before Starbucks made a coffee shop seem like a nifty kind of thing. It should also be noted that there is a thriving independent coffee shop about a half a block down the street from my nearest Starbucks.

Is your complaint with global capitalism primarily economic or cultural?

Nick said...

Do you really think we're all going to go back to a world of cheap, nasty instant coffees with dubious things floating around in them served in greasy-spoon backstreet cafes? I don't think so Neil; that world's gone (except, of course, when you don your rose tinted specs - which you seem to do quite often). There might (hopefully) be a way forward that's less disfunctional than the current one, but for sure there's no way back.

Neil Clark said...

Hi Douglas,
Hopefully the Starbucks decline will start to kick in here too.
London has the highest concentration of Starbucks anywhere in the world.
In answer to your question I'm against global 'turbo' capitalism for both economic and cultural reasons. Rapacious global chains like Macdonalds and Starbucks are leading to the homogenisation of High Streets across the world. I love foreign travel but the romance of travel is going to be destroyed if everywhere looks the same.

Nick, I'm sure you've been to Belgium. Their cities are full of great places to get coffee. Countries can do very well without Starbucks and other such chains.

Jock McTrousers said...

"Do you really think we're all going to go back to a world of cheap, nasty instant coffees with dubious things floating around in them served in greasy-spoon backstreet cafes? "

'Go back'? Are you an eccentric millionaire or something? I can nearly always find a greasy-spoon backstreet cafe, when I feel like a seat and a coffee; and 'cheap, nasty instant coffee(ok, I prefer there to be nothing floating in it)is what I want. Any time I have to use one of these posh places, I ask for a coffee, and they point me to a list ( starting about £1.20)- I know now to ask for an 'Americano', if I want my straight-up instant coffee, but I never feel comfortable with it. For those with more money than sense.

Douglas said...

While this has nothing to do with the original post, it does have something to do with Starbucks, and I am highly amused by it...

Group finds Starbucks logo too hot to handle

Is Starbucks going with the retro logo, the slightly cleaned up retro logo, or the regular logo in the UK?

Does anybody care?