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Apr 7, 2007 12:29 PM

What's with Starbucks..... mild rant

In our small section of South Orange County, CA there is a beautiful seaide community called Dana Point. The main drag through this area is one that splits at the heart of town, with one route going one-way North, the other South. There's a Starbucks on the South-bound street.

Recently Starbucks bought out a local coffee chain called Dietrich's. There was a Dietrich's on the Northbound street (physically maybe 2 or 3 blocks away from the Starbucks on the South-bound route). At first it looked like the Dietrich's was just closing, and that must have been wonderful news for the single local coffee place about a block North of it. Now......... the Dietrich's is being replaced by........ of course... a new Starbuck's.

It's not that unususal for Starbucks to have a unit in a shopping center here and also have a counter inside a market in the same center or across the street. I guess they're just so big that they can afford to pick up every available site that pencils out for them, thus increasing their market share even more and effectively blocking out competition.

I'm just really getting annoyed by it.

Feel a little better now...... not much......... a little.

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  1. I'd be less annoyed if their coffee didn't stink.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mojoeater

      I don't understand why I can't get coffee anywhere in my town that equals my cafe bustelo at home in a french press.

      1. re: fara

        Have you ever tried the french press option at Starbucks? I split one with some friends a couple of weeks ago and was impressed with the quality of the coffee, even with the House Blend!

    2. Perhaps the goal is to have a Starbucks every 3rd store.

      1. From what I've heard, Starbucks has determined that very few people will actually go out of their way to stop there. So, they rely on opening stores wherever they're most likely to be "on the way."

        Therefore, Starbucks opening an additional location on the Northbound street makes sense, because (according to their market research, at least) few people driving on that street are going to be willing to go over a block because it will take them off their route.

        1 Reply
        1. I read an article this week that they do not mind competing with themselves and have found that people may not cross a street to get a cup. There was an example in which they have store on three of the four corners in a city (I think they mentioned it was in NYC) and were actively investigating whether to purchase the property on the fourth corner. Could you imagine every corner store at an intersection being a starbucks? Interesting.

          BTW I am a starby's fan.

          8 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            I will never forget sitting in the infamous Starbucks in downtown Vancouver looking across the street to see another person looking at me from another Starbucks. There are two stores kitty corner from each other which was unique.

            1. re: Sacto_Damkier

              Sacto - I was seriously just about to post The same comment - no joke I think on Granville street, right? Very weird.....

              1. re: stellamystar

                Those are the ones on Robson (1099 & 1100 Robson). Not surprising given the sheer number in Vancouver.

              2. re: Sacto_Damkier

                I saw that on my first visit to Vancouver in 1993 or so. At the time it was extremely noteworthy, but now, by today's standards, not so much.

                1. re: Debbie W

                  That's right- this Vancouver claim to fame is now old hat and is seen in many cities- we have two office towers in downtown Calgary that have Starbucks on both the first and second floors (PetroCanada and Bankers Hall, if you people from Vancouver refuse to believe me). Having Starbucks kitty-corner from one another is not a big deal at all anymore.

                2. re: Sacto_Damkier

                  Have you seen the "interview" in the movie "Best in Show" with Parker Posey, where she and her husband describe the very same scenario? Hilarious... because it can be so true.

                3. re: jfood

                  Yes - great article. Was it in the Wallstreet Journal? I found it very insightful, and although it doesn't make me feel any better or worse about Starbucks, I can appreciate the level to which they understand their products relative to consumer behavior. They literally have it nailed down to a science. Their level of strategic planning reminds me alot of what McDonalds has been doing for about three decades. Definitely a case study that should be studied and discussed in business classes.

                  1. re: jfood

                    They do the same thing the world over. Besides, life's too short to cross the street, especially in traffic! And what if you're driving and can't turn around? No, no, we NEED to have SBUX on every corner.


                  2. Not to mention that coffee places in retail locations are almost always Starbucks -
                    Kroger, Target, Barnes & Noble, Meijer, etc. I was happy to see a Seattle's Best in Borders - until I remembered that Starbucks owns that too. Starbucks is okay but I prefer to seek out other places for coffee where possible. To me, it is like McDonalds - ubiquitous and one is the same as another one, therefore Starbucks is decent, but nothing special.

                    I am actually surprised that Starbucks hasn't infiltrated the gas station market yet. It is probably on their radar screen though.