Saturday, October 07, 2006

Froth

I find the news that US coffee shop "brand" Starbucks wants to inflict three times as many branches on the world as it already has extremely disturbing. Look here Starbucks, 24,000 towns without a branch in doesn't mean there are 24,000 towns who necessarily want to subscribe to your peculiarly bland and homogenised rive gauche via Seattle production design house style. If they had felt the need for a coffee shop I'm sure some enterprising young person would have started one already and made it locally relevant into the bargain. Going to a Starbucks isn't a pleasantly bohemian way of spending an hour, it's subscription to a brand identity. These aren't shops, these are 36,000 "outlets" for overpriced company recipe products. American cultural and commercial arrogance of the highest order. And yes, I have visited one. I asked for a white coffee.

It's already bad enough here in the UK that every single town centre is churned out of some talentless central design school but at least I'm spared the sight of these places when I travel. I don't expect to see a Weatherspoons in a converted Amro Bank in The Hague, a Harvester in Madrid or be able to buy a Greggs' sausage roll in Antwerp. A drive-through McDonalds, a Dunkin' Donut, KFC or a Holiday Inn is certainly not my idea of security when I'm abroad. I don't want to feel "at home" on holiday; I wouldn't have spent a small fortune trying to get away for a few days otherwise. If I want to visit mid-town America, I'll go there, I don't want to experience it in the Camargue or Normandy.

American business - you just don't don't get it, do you?

6 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

You'll feel a little less angry after you've had a nice cup of coffee old chap.

8:17 am  
Anonymous Richard said...

Only tea for me. That hardwater Yorkshire Tea is very good down here.

10:30 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

I'm with you on Starbucks, Richard, which may be a little narrow-minded as I have never ventured inside one on principle.

9:39 pm  
Anonymous Rob said...

Good old Yorkshire Tea. Grown on the slopes of Ilkley Moor.

7:31 am  
Anonymous Steve Dix said...

And the tea in Starbucks is p*ss as well.

7:59 am  
Anonymous Sharon J said...

Lise wanted to go into Starbucks at St Katherine's Dock but I gently steered her away. The young have so much to learn.

8:00 pm  

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