Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
When Starbucks recently announced that it would close 600 of its stores, the popular reaction was schadenfreude. But newspapers are starting to consider who loses when the local coffee shop—even if it is just the local wing of a megachain—shuts down. Two days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported on the trend of "Save Our Starbucks" campaigns. Consumerist found this phenomenon dubious at best, digging up a whole mess of anti-Starbucks comments on a site called Save Starbucks. But today's LA Times points out that some inner-city neighborhoods really do mourn the loss of their local coffee chain because it's "a public stamp of approval, a symbol of hope, a suggestion of brewing economic vitality."
Obviously, this doesn't apply to midtown. The best quote from the WSJ article: After a Kate Walker learned that the Starbucks at 44th and Madison was closing, she wondered how to psych up her co-workers for a move to the neighborhood. "Knowing Starbucks, there's probably [another] one within a few blocks," she told the WSJ. "But that's probably two blocks too far."
·Starbucks Gets Pleas Not to Close Stores [WSJ]
·Devastated Latte Lovers (Allegedly) Launch "Save Our Starbucks" Campaigns... [Consumerist]
·A closing Starbucks is a symbol of lost hope and luxury [L.A. Times]
·'Bucks South LA Shops Closing [Racked LA]