Starbucks is melting, melting... ahahahahah haha!
Actually, I don't mind Starbucks when I'm in the U.S. It's a good place for a toilet stop, it's got comparatively cheap good filter-brew and, on a cold cold day, it's a good place for a sit down and warm up.
However, the demise of Starbucks in Australia was just so inevitable!!!
This article makes the obvious point: The US chain has been the victim of an ill-fated expansion in Australia, a market it only entered in 2000. But Starbucks was also snubbed by many Australians who have grown up on a diet of quality European-style coffee introduced into the country by immigrants, particularly from Italy, last century.
Starbucks performed a miracle convincing Americans to pay $4 for a latte. However, before Starbucks Americans lived on a diet of 99cent filter coffee, so the $4 'Vanilla Bean Frappuccino® Blended Crème' was a whole new market.
On the other hand, Australians already had good espresso (complete with drink jargon) when Starbucks entered the scene. So it was ridiculous to think Australians would want to pay $4 for a weak wimpy latte at Starbucks, when a local cafe sells a beautiful strong latte in a delicate glass for $3.
I remember when Starbucks first opened in Melbourne around 2001. It was during my early undergraduate days; a time of Naomi Klein, S11 Crown casino protests and ambiguous 'globalisation-hating'. Starbucks just seemed to spell doom.
So it's wonderful to see the demise of Starbucks in Australia. What was S11 really about? I can't really remember and don't really care... but I think the point is, Australian culture (the bit about how we go out to cafes, how we sit around with friends, how we drink lovely coffee) was strong enough to withstand a large corporation that tried to change it.
I miss a good latte...
5 years ago