Coffee lovers in several cities are begging Starbucks to spare their neighborhood coffee shops as the company closes 600 underperforming stores to boost profits. Starbucks operates nearly 6,800 outlets nationwide. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
What the commentators said
The “revolt of the Starbucks caffeinistas” is about more than the coffee, said Daniel Henninger in The Wall Street Journal. Starbucks made itself the butt of jokes by expanding too much, but it also made itself a comforting refuge that many people can no longer imagine doing without.
The pain of losing a Starbucks seems too much to bear, said the financial blog Minyanville. But you just have to work through the first four stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. Then you come to stage five, acceptance, when you can say, “It’s gone and it’s not coming back. I’ll just have to hit that other Starbucks.”
Go ahead and laugh, said John L. Smith in the Nevada Appeal. But “Starbucks is a cultural phenomenon,” and that’s why its downsizing is so scary. If Starbucks, with its devoted and addicted clientele, is having trouble making profit, what will become of the rest of the economy?
Maybe trouble at Starbucks is a good thing, said Marie Cocco in The Denver Post. The $25-a-week “Starbucks habit” is one of those “bit-by-bit extravagances”—like SUVs and widescreen TVs—that got us into “the tight economic jam we find ourselves in today.” Once we learn to get along without it, maybe we’ll be on the road to recovery.