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How Many Starbucks Outlets Will Survive?

 It is hard to believe but I am now camping in a Left Coast state. Apparently, 'travel makes strange bedfellows.'   Of course I am in the 'hinterland', the 'flyover' part of the state, where all the 'Deplorables' live.  Still, there is some contamination from Portland and Eugene.  And the coffee culture of Seattle/Portland is quite strong around here.

How many of these little coffee drive-throughs will survive the economic turmoil?  I started thinking about this back in Idaho after seeing a mobile coffee shop, parked on the edge of a small town. My goodness, was it cute!  It was a homemade trailer, made to look like a little mining shack. 

I wonder about the people who own it.  They must be drastically different than a standard cubicle-rat.  Perhaps I romanticize these owners just because of their spunk, courage, and independence.  Does anybody care about these independent owners becoming casualties?

But will coffee shops disappear? You'd think so.  People need that money to buy groceries and gasoline. Something has to 'give'.  On the other hand, maybe consumers will give up eating out at restaurants, and downsize to a fancy coffee and bagel or muffin at one of the coffee shops.

Unlike the independent coffee shops owned by human beings, I will be happy to see thousands of Starbucks outlets disappear.  Who knows what all that commercial real estate will be re-assigned to.  Fast food?  Can you even eat a 'combo meal' at a fast food joint for less than $10?

The world will survive the disappearance of thousands of Starbucks outlets quite well.  Who needs their charcoal-tasting coffee?  Perhaps all those defunct Starbucks buildings will be converted into some hot new food outlet that offers insect-protein hamburgers?

Where will all those employees go?  I imagine Starbucks as a giant sponge for people with masters-degrees in gender studies, but that might be inaccurate.


Ed said…
I have not been in a Starbucks in years so will not miss them if the go away as they have in Russia although those were licensed locations.

I will miss good coffee however if the supply chain breaks become even worse. There is also the increase in prices at my preferred roaster(s). I have been ordering coffee inline from private roasters for 10+ years and using an AeroPress with two scoops (~5 tablespoons) of coffee. This past month I have cut that to one scoop plus one tablespoon of chicory.

I tried the chicory for its prebiotic properties, meaning that it feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. These helpful bacteria play a role in reducing inflammation which I have been working to do for the past 3+ years. What I have found is that it is a cost saver and I enjoy my coffee just as much.

Who needs Starbucks. HA
Anonymous said…
It's hard to believe, but Starbucks plans to open more new stores than they close in 2022 and end the year with a record number of stores. Unless you get their "blonde" coffee blends, their over roasted dark coffees are almost undrinkable. People who go to Starbucks seem to order the expensive, sugary drinks and overpriced mini sandwiches, so maybe the independent coffee shops and mobile trucks will have a chance at surviving by offering just good coffee and basic food at a fair price.
Anonymous, I did not know that Starbucks was still expanding. I guess they know their business better than I do, but their guess might prove wrong.

"expensive, sugary drinks..." Yes, I like to call them "Dairy Queens with caffeine."

"mobile trucks..." I have always liked mobile food trucks. The customer is paying for food rather than overpriced real estate at a restaurant. Gas stations seem to be expanding their burrito, sandwich, and coffee selection.