I’m not one of those people who’s addicted to coffee. In fact, I don’t even like the stuff. The only caffeine that really affects me is Diet Coke on an empty stomach, and all coffee does is make me feel jittery and leave a bad taste in my mouth. Still, if I had to choose whether I’m for or against Starbucks, I’d have to say I’m for it. My mom and sister are chronically addicted to the stuff, and I actually had to go to Starbucks with my mother about 15 minutes ago so that she could get her fix. I love their teas, and it was the Venti Zen Tea that got me through many a night at my school’s library. (Did I mention that there’s a Starbucks in our library? Where you can buy coffee and bagels and scones on your meal plan?) And although globalization certainly has its drawbacks, I was thrilled to find a Starbucks in Vienna where I could get a large tea and wander the streets of Austria blissfully clutching a red holiday cup. Plus, on a broader level, I’ve read that Starbucks exemplifies servant leadership, and they seem to be making concerted efforts to do good things for the world.
I can understand the other side of the argument, though. A unique, local coffee shop is a great place to spend a few hours, and it’s a shame that with Starbucks popping up two per block, many of the local stores can’t survive. So I was quite surprised to read that Starbucks is closing 600 stores nationwide. (And that’s a link to a Washington Post article, not NYT. See, I’m branching out!) According to the article, these store closings are a sign that Starbucks is still suffering from the country’s faltering economy. I’m no economist (and in fact, econ makes my brain hurt to the point that if someone forced me to major in the subject, I’d have to drop out of school and work at the mall), but if Starbucks is suffering, that’s gotta be a bad sign.
[Posted by Mallory]