Well I’m getting a little tired of writing about Starbucks, but it seems the company is not done making news.
First up, the Associated Press reports that after closing 600 U.S. stores, 1,000 corporate workers are getting the axe today.
And on the other side of the world, Bloomberg Asia reports that Starbucks is shuttering 75 percent of its stores in Australia. It’s the first time the company has said it would be closing stores outside of the U.S. When the U.S. store closings were announced earlier this summer, Howard Shultz said that there were no plans to close any international stores. I guess plans change. The Aussie stores will be closed by August 3.
This, I think, is an interesting quote from the story: “The feeling amongst many cafe owners was that they were initially concerned at losing market share to Starbucks but believed their product offering was superior,” said Robert Forsyth, the former chairman of the Sydney-based AustralAsian Specialty Coffee Association.
And though anecdotal, that jibes with what I’ve heard from our Australian readers and contributors. Perhaps Australia will demonstrate conclusively that when consumers demand, and are accustomed to, the highest-quality coffees, the behemoth corporations have a very hard time competing with the independent specialty coffee shops.