Home > Boards > The Lounge > Coffee Shop > Julius Briner
Followed By 0
Posts 12
Boards Moderated 1
Alias Born 09/09/2009

Monday, September 28, 2009 6:44:22 PM

Re: None

Post# of 7
Starbucks kills communities, academic claims

Starbucks and its latte-frothing emulators have helped to kill off community life, according to an academic who conducted a study of the world’s biggest coffee chain.

Small and widely spaced tables, free wireless internet access and a preference for take-away customers are among the conversation-killing factors that have encouraged patrons to cut themselves off, Bryant Simon claimed.

The seemingly ubiquitous Starbucks, which has 16,000 outlets worldwide and last year earned nearly $10.4 billion (£6.5 billion), had made great play of how it encourages people to come together, he said.

Many branches had community message boards and – borrowing from sociology – the company marketed itself as a “third place” between work and home. But Prof Simon, an academic at Temple University in Philadelphia, said the communal feel was an “illusion”.

“People immediately create their own little private, gated communities. You come in, set up your laptop and put on your headphones,” he said yesterday. “You couldn’t be more alone in public if you wanted to be.”

Prof Simon visited 425 Starbucks branches in nine countries, including Britain, over a year and talked to customers. He said he witnessed few spontaneous discussions or interactions. He said the rise of Starbucks and its rivals was a far cry from the British coffee houses of the 18th and 19th centuries “which were the cornerstone of democracy with a small 'd’”.

In his book, Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks, Prof Simon also pointed out that the company’s sense of community was very narrow.

It ensured its prices were high — a latte can cost £3 — and opened only in upmarket areas in order to maintain an aura of exclusivity, he said.

Prof Simon concluded that Starbucks’s success had little to do with the coffee and everything to do with image and identity. “Time and again customers told me they would look at someone carrying a Starbucks cup and assume they were successful and moderately hip,” he said.

A spokesman for Starbucks said it welcomed all customer feedback.

By Tom Leonard in New York
Published: 7:25PM BST 28 Sep 2009

FEATURED InnerScope Hearing Technologies (OTC: INND) Reports Record Revenues for a Profitable Q2 2022 Aug 12, 2022 8:00 AM

Alliance Creative Group (ACGX) Reports Revenue of $2,974,489 for Second Quarter of 2022 ACGX Aug 12, 2022 12:40 PM

Progressive Care Reports Second Quarter 2022 Results Highlighted by 4% Growth to $10.0 Million in Revenue RXMD Aug 12, 2022 10:21 AM

PJET Bullish Investment Message Garners New Investment Interest PJET Aug 12, 2022 9:53 AM

VAYK Real Estate Fintech Strategy Builds Momentum and Explores Stock Buyback VAYK Aug 12, 2022 9:46 AM

Branded Legacy, Inc. Eliminates Over 430 Thousand In Debt In 2022 BLEG Aug 12, 2022 9:15 AM

Pro Music Rights, Inc., one of the world's largest music licensing companies, announces that it intends to Release its Financials by August 19, 2022 NUVG Aug 11, 2022 11:11 AM

AXTG Partner with Save Planet Earth to digitize and plant 100 million trees with NFTs AXTG Aug 11, 2022 10:15 AM

PURA Announces New Development Expanding Cannabis Market Opportunity PURA Aug 11, 2022 9:34 AM

Pasithea Therapeutics Announces Results of Preclinical Study Demonstrating Tolerizing Vaccine Efficacy in Relapsing-Remitting Model of Multiple Sclerosis KTTA Aug 11, 2022 8:35 AM

SinglePoint Acquires Frontline Power Solutions, a Multi-State Licensed Energy Services Company SING Aug 11, 2022 8:30 AM

Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. Announces AGM Results and Project Update PBMLF Aug 11, 2022 7:30 AM


ResGreen Powers Up - Introduces Wireless Battery Charging for its Fleet of Mobile Robots RGGI Aug 10, 2022 10:53 AM

Kona Gold Beverage, Inc Signs New Distribution Partners in California, Illinois, and Nevada KGKG Aug 10, 2022 9:00 AM