Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Starbucks, I never knew you … and now I never will

Posted by occidentprone on July 30, 2008

WA has been blessed by being free of three scourges insidious in other states.

The cane toad is on the march and could be well into WA’s north within a few years.

Money and life-sucking Pokies are restricted to the Burswood Casino and are not filling every suburban gathering spot from Lockridge to Spearwood but it’s been a while since the Liberals stated their position on this so all this could change.

But Starbucks, which never made it west, looks like never coming here. The ABC reports: 

Coffee chain Starbucks says it will close 61 of its 84 stores across Australia by Sunday, shedding 685 jobs in an effort to shore up its international business.

The company says the stores will close because they have been under-performing.

Twenty-three stores will remain open in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, where Starbucks says it wants to refocus on its core operations.

The multi-national last month announced 600 stores in the United States would close as sales plummeted against a background of a weakening US economy.

About 12,000 jobs were lost.

In a statement, the company’s chief executive Howard Schultz says the company is well into the implementation phase of transforming Starbucks.

The statement says today’s difficult yet necessary decision will help support the ongoing growth of Starbucks’ international business.

In a prerecorded interview released by Starbucks, the company’s Asia Pacific president John Kulver says the company will help staff who lose their jobs.

“We want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can as a company to support them with this restructuring,” he said.

It never came here so I never learned to love the coffee behemoth. But intelligent, interesting, creative people I love and respect were big fans. I couldn’t imagine that could be me but then I bet a lot of pokie addicts underestimated the pull of the flashing lights and mesmerising escapism.

No doubt writers and commentators the blogosphere over are combing the metaphorical significance of Starbucks’ ill-health. I’ll leave the obituaries to those who were passionate about it one way or the other and just be thankful I never had to care.

If you do care, these might be of interest: 

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4 Responses to “Starbucks, I never knew you … and now I never will”

  1. David Gillham said

    Starbucks sucks. Their coffee is crap.
    Find a place that does Latte Art, and you have probably found a good joint.

    DG

  2. occidentprone said

    DG, I suspected that might be the case but I was trying to be evenhanded in the cyberuniverse that is renowned for its anti-Starbucks rants. You’re bang on with the latte art. I’ve tried manipulating the crema and froth at home but they just look like Mr Squiggle rejects. That’s why we’re paying 4 bucks (in Perth) for coffee in cafes – baristas who think they’re artistas.

  3. skink said

    you are not missing anything – I designed five Starbucks joints in the UK and they are just as cynical, robotic and corporate as their detractors paint them. and their coffee is indeed terrible – more confection than caffeine. They completely misunderstood the coffee culture in the UK, and no doubt missed the target in Australia too, and overinvested too quick too soon.

    they won’t be missed

  4. occidentprone said

    Skink you’re right about the Americans not being able to colonise wildly different coffee cultures. To quote a comment from a Mr Albert Ross on http://wikinomics.com/blog/index.php/2008/07/28/wikinomics-report-card-starbucks/

    In a tribute to the discerning taste buds of Australians Starbucks has just announced that it is “to close 61 of its 84 stores across Australia by Sunday, shedding 685 jobs in an effort to shore up its international business.”
    That the product looked mostly like strained dishwater did not go to well with Australians who like their coffee mad from fresh beans properly roasted and ground, made with care and served properly.

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