Written by Lori Thiessen

Empires rise and empires fall. The ancient Egyptians knew it, the ancient Romans knew and now Starbucks knows it. Well, Starbucks hasn’t quite fallen yet, but there are some definite signs of shrinkage. Six hundred stores and 12,000 part-time and full-time staff are feeling the pain.

Some folks who love to hate Starbucks will probably be rejoicing at this news. Industry analysts have attributed Starbucks move to take things down a notch to everything from the “eat local” craze that is taking hold to McDonald’s venture into the specialty coffee market. It’s probably a combination of McDonald’s moving in on Starbucks territory plus Starbucks expanding too much and the fact that it’s over exposed to the public.

When Starbucks entered the consumer market in 1987, it was the hip joint to be. Now if you want to be hip, you don’t step foot into a Starbucks store unless you want the world to know you are a stooge for the corporate marketing machine.

It’s all about trends and Starbucks is looking at the end of theirs. It’s nobody’s fault really. Fashions come and go. These days, fashions or empires can be counted in decades not centuries usually. But Starbucks will probably re-invent their image to something fresh and eye-catching and we’ll all be lining up again with enthusiasm.

What does the closing of 600 Starbucks stores mean to the java commuter? Well, fewer places to have coffee and do business for a start.

Or does it? Nature abhors a vacuum so something will fill the gap, whether it is co-working spaces or a small local chain of coffee shops or a myriad of independent coffeehouses. Stay tuned.

Q: What do you think of Starbucks closing 600 stores and laying off 12,000 employees?

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll save your seat until next time!