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Starbucks article

Thank you Starbucks… Small independent Cafes should say!

Courtesy of TechCrunch

Yesterday an official announcement came from Starbucks saying that 400 company-owned stores will close in US and in Canada (200 in Canada).

Whereas Starbucks announced as well that some of them will be re-positioned for store pick-up or Curbside pick-up. But why should you still pay a premium price for cup of coffee that costs much less than One Dollar?

What is Starbucks for its regular customers? Starbucks is or in this instance, was, a social experience. It was a place for students to meet and study, a place where anyone can enjoy free internet with their cup of coffee, a place for a business deal in the making, a place for teenagers to meet, a place to kill some time, a place to watch people. Starbucks was a value proposition that no one was able to match. It was a user experience that was worth the unrealistically expensive coffee.

It was a price that we all Starbucks goers were willing to pay. It was a social contract, where Starbucks offers me the experience and I agree to pay a premium for it.

Small independent cafes, should be thrilled for this decision. A major brand out of their way (in some locations). Embrace the change, ride the wave, fill the gap and grab Starbucks customers.

Any coffee shop who will be able to reposition fast, play on a very strong communication, will be a winner. Use the Starbucks decision to their advantage, engage with their customers and provide with an unchallenged experience, despite the COVID-19 enforced social distancing. Be a winner.

This is the time for the first movers advantage. If you are in the neighborhood of a closing Starbucks, you should be extatic. Only if you know how to grab the moment. Defining a quick operational and communication strategy is key.

Yestrday was my own AHA moment! I went to Starbucks with my wife and kids to grab a coffee (in Halifax, NS) thinking that stores opened and we were able to get back to some our our new normal. But, to my surprise, i had to pay for this exorbitantly expensive coffee, and i had to sit on the curb, since this location decided not to open yet any seating capability. Then I thought about it… Why did I do this, I am not enjoying the moment. I grabbed the expensive coffee, i had to sit on the curbside, not having the highly anticipated and promised Starbucks experience.

Will I come back again? I am not sure, I am starting to think about an alternative. When i read about their Store Pick-up and Curbside Pick-up concepts, I was baffled. Why will I pay for this? Why Starbucks should still have me as a customer?

Wouldn’t be much better to find a local coffee shop, who is locally owned and is offering some experience? Wouldn’t i be killing 2 birds in one stone?

1- I will get much more value for what I am paying
2- I will be helping a local business person to strive during this crisis

It is the right time to reposition your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), it is the right time to strategically plan your next move (Strategic Planning), it is the right time to upgrade your Digital Presence.

For more information about how Strategy Up can help you pivot your business, reach out to us: or call us on: +1 902 989 7277