July 7, 2008

Coffee time

Time has slipped by, but I am here. Finishing off with workers banging around and making dust, lots of traveling about, guests and such.

I have a page from the Repubblica newspaper business and finance section from a couple of weeks ago sitting by my computer just waiting its turn for a blog post. So here it goes.

There is a big portrait design of Howard Schultz in the center, and yes we are going to talk yet again about Starbucks (see here and here for previous discussion).

Seems that things haven't been going so well for Starbucks in the past few years and Howard is back to shape up the company by going abroad -- 43 countries with over 4500 locations to be exact, but not even one in Italy. There is a new deal for over 150 new shops in airports and train stations across England, France and Germany in the next three years, but none in Italy. There are even 71 shops to the South in Greece and another 39 to the north in Switzerland, but none in Italy.

Of course it is easy to say that importing caffè to Italy would be a scary prospect for any company, even Starbucks, and competing with Italian coffee culture, that has its roots back in the 18th century, a futile exercise. But after all we know about the difficulties of doing business in Italy, failed joint ventures, long lead times and such, maybe it is just another Air France story.

Or is Howard just biding his time, closing in from the north and south and waiting for his golden moment, before pouncing on his prey.

Starbuck's success in Italy would certainly crown his successful career!

a domani ( and yes, I am back),


nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Personally I like not seeing one on every corner here. I don't have an issue with the "idea" of a Starbucks but the problem is they over expand. When I lived in L.A. they were everywhere.

I love how they are laying thousand of people in the U.S. but are expanding overseas. McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts' new coffee drinks are hurting Starbuck's along with the worsening economy.

The coffee culture here is different than in France, Spain, etc. Also didn't Schultz get the idea for Starbucks from visiting places in Milan?

I get why there's a McDonalds here. There was no Italian company doing the same thing, but coffee? Is Starbucks going to drastically lower their prices? Change the fake Italian names?

There are some downsides to globalization. Starbuck in Italy would be one of them. I like how each coffee bar here is different and it's a neighborhood thing.

I can't see myself going to Greece or Spain and going to Starbucks for coffee. What's point of traveling if I were to do/go to the same places I do in the States?

Airports are fine but keep Starbucks out of the Historic Centers per favore!

Elizabeth Abbot said...

I'm with you!
Love my neighbood bar where I get my coffee high each day.