I just finished looking over your lovely site. I'm doing a research paper on
Starbucks and was looking for some information. I was looking over your site and
was thinking to myself how ignorant the webmaster must be. In the first place,
there is no mermaid on the logo, its a siren: a character from Greek mythology.
Are you nuts? Starbucks is not trying to take over the world, they are just
like any other business trying to do well. In fact, Starbucks is different than
most businesses in that it doesn't advertise. The quality of Starbucks coffee is
passed by word of mouth. Despite this, Starbucks has grown to be the most
popular place to pick up java.
As far as turning whole towns into green, yeah un-huh, like that happens.
Also, Starbucks doesn't destroy land, they work with the locals to help conserve
the land. Starbucks also supports farming communities all over the world, places
that would probaly grow drugs if they didn't grow coffee.
Anyway, I've said enough. Its just that stupid people like you don't have a
clue and have way too much free time.
Thankyou for writing in we are glad to help with your research however I do feel that you seem to have missed out a fair amount of information on Starbucks. I'm not exactly sure where you have been looking, but I for one have found that asking Starbucks themselves is always a bad place to start.
For example I recently went into a UK central London branch to ask about fair trade coffee (We were making up a leaflet and thought we ought to get our facts straight). I had been under the impression that you could only buy fair trade coffee by the bag and not get it in your cup. It turns out I was wrong, Starbucks do not sell any fair trade coffe in the UK at all, all of their coffee is by definition unfair trade. Even though it has been possible to buy it by the bag in the US for over a year, the UK have only just decided to accept any kind of ethical responsibility. The manager proudly told me that we will be getting fair trade coffee soon but at the moment they are having shipping troubles. Strange I thought seeing as being a mulitnational company they have no trouble at all shipping tonnes of unfair trade coffee to the UK from the remotest third world countries in the world, stranger still the manager didn't seem able to comment on that one.
As for your comment that our ignorant webmaster had been stupid enough to call the siren a mermaid, well I decided to look up the word siren:
At the bottom of the page you will find:
4. A mermaid. [Obs.] --Shak.
Infact I had a look at a starbucks page:
Which includes a nice illustration of a half woman, half fish:
mer·maid Pronunciation Key (mûrmd)
A legendary sea creature having the head and upper body of a woman and the tail of a fish
Maybe we still have it wrong, however if we do it seems Stabucks have a big image crisis on their hands, and perhaps these people should be corrected also:
A side note on this one, and a quick example of starbucks cruelty, did you know that in and effort to appease the more red neck, bible bashing amongst us, Starbucks cut of the poor mermaid/siren's nipples?
Now then, onto starbucks not wanting to take over the world, and turn whole towns green. Well we will readily admit that perhaps we were using a bit of artistic license in that one. However it is a fact that Starbucks are using the same expansion strategy as other great comminity developers such as Wal Mart. Basically the idea is this, you open up a new store in the vacinity of a rival or local coffee shop, which has been a part of that community for years. This new store undercuts the rival, and makes no money, however being a large company like Starbucks you can support that store and run it at a loss on the back of other stores. This continues with other Starbucks moving into an area until the rival eventually goes bust. At which point Starbucks can afford to raise their prices as they have a local monopoly, they can even close some of the stores in the area in order to make the remaining ones more profitable. Then they move onto the next location and do the same, using the added income from the last community to boulster the loss running stores.
Now Starbucks may not be all that bad, after all one coffee shop is just the same as another right? wrong.
As Garrison Frost put it:
"The interior of your typical Starbucks is a classic example of co-optation. The company has succeeded by taking elements of the coffeehouse counterculture and marketing it to masses in a more generic form. Instead of original art on the walls, you have graphic ensembles created by a team of artists for every location. Instead of the eclectic musical tastes of the staff, you hear quirky jazz selections which are available on a Starbucks CD if you want to listen at home. And instead of the coffee drinks and unique blends of your typical independent coffee house, you have the Frappuccino®.
Something always seems false in a Starbucks. Most coffeehouses encourage people to stay as long as they want, but most Starbucks near me have 15-minute limits on all parking spaces. Most coffeehouses encourage people to hang out and play board games. Starbucks will sell you a board game. Most coffeehouses have a unique environment. All Starbucks look the same on the inside, even the one down the street from me in the barely-disguised former Kentucky Fried Chicken building. When you see a person in a Starbucks hunkered down with a notebook at a table -- not an unfamiliar sight in a coffeehouse -- you are tempted to wonder if the novel he writes will be the literary equivalent of the faux environment in which he sits. More likely. he is just doing his Social Studies homework."
As far as the quality of coffee goes, I have to admit, I think I have only every had one Starbucks in my life, so I'm not actually the best person to comment, perhaps it does spread by word of mouth as you say. However I am more inclined to think that the spread of Starbucks has more to do with their strategy and pricing wars than the quality. And as for the fact that they don't advertise, I am afraid that is just an out right lie, living in London we have to put up with starbucks billboards, tv adverts, radio adverts, bus stop posters and tube train posters amongst others. I think you need to check back on your research for that one.
But Starbuck are all ethical aren't they, look they have policies and the interiors are all green and environmental coloured? No, no, no.
As the great reverent Billy puts it himself:
THEYRE SCREWING THE PLANET
The factory farming techniques used by Starbucks coffee providers as unsustainable and
environmentally devastating. In 1997 they released a vague, nice-sounding PR campaign stating that hazardous materials such as chemicals and pesticides should be used safely and responsibly, if at all. Great, but what does that really mean? Not much. Starbucks gets their coffee from countries like Guatemala and Indonesia, where the local dictators wont enforce environmental regulation (and even if they did, the WTO would put a stop to it).
Or perhaps you should look at this link below:
Starbucks may not be the worst company in the world, but they are certainly one of the biggies and they are the market leaders. If Starbucks don't change their ways what hope do we have of any of the others doing so? The point of our site is to give starbucks a bit of a jab and have some fun whilst doing so, it seems that the general public, and even people doing research into them are still under the impression that they are a lovely, cuddly eco-friendly business, who care about the world we all live in, they don't, their share holders care about their stock value and that is the bottom line. We have to make it unprofitable for them to act in this way, and kick up a fuss about the way they do their business. In this way they will be forced to bow to public pressure and change their act, and perhaps live up to some of the claims they make.
So please don't call names like "stupid people like you don't have a clue and have way too much free time". Perhaps our site does't express these ideas in the most eloquent of ways, but after your letter we will have to change that.
I don't mean to come across in an antagonistic way, and I am sorry if I have gone off on a rant, but you must realise there are two sides to every story.
Please write back and let me know what you think,