Jul 292008

My feelings about today’s announcement by Starbucks Coffee Company, are mixed.

Frankly, I’ve never thought much of the coffee from the supermarket of cafè latte. I think I’ve had a Starbucks coffee maybe three times over the years, and none were particularly memorable. I heard it described on PM this evening as  ‘production line coffee’ and while I’m not a connoisseur of the roasted and steeped bean, I do know there are better flat whites to be had than at Starbucks. Combine the somewhat lack-lustre produce with my innate dislike of most things Americana supplanting homegrown offerings, and I can’t say I’m all that sad to see a diminishing of the Maccas of coffee.

I do, however, feel deeply for those 685 employees who’ll lose their jobs through poor forward business planning and straight-out greed on behalf of those poor forward planners. Of course, the excuse will be offered that no-one could have foreseen the sub-prime crisis and subsequent global retraction of consumer confidence, but that excuse doesn’t wash. Warnings were issued for many years prior to July 2007, about economies being constructed on the continual movement of fantasy investments based on poor – some might say immoral -  lending practices. That aside, any business operator that attempts to make hay, then blames failures on someone turning out the arc light they thought was the Sun, deserves what they get. Trouble is, Starbucks, like all businesses poorly planned or driven by greed, will continue on at the expense of those it owes most to. The hard-working employee.


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