Starbucks Delocator

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Starbucks delocator
Visiting the Starbucks Delocator website will give you local coffee store alternatives to your closest Starbucks. It’s cute and gimicky.

Why are they targeting Starbucks? Delocator was created as a “defense mechanism for independent business establishments”:

Each [Starbucks] store is designed to deliver the authentic coffeehouse experience. The only way to accomplish this and be profitable and competitive is by making all of the stores identical: the same beverages, food, ambient sounds and smells, even the same simulated coffeehouse interior wall treatments. Their products, services and spaces are quantified: eliminating any subjectivity or variance in their business practices, making all things measurable; homogenized: reducing the entire range of experience to one particular form; and commodified: everything is either directly for sale or in the aide of selling. Social interaction is even considered. All employees receive the exact same training for product handling, customer service, and store management, creating a cog-like work force that can be placed anywhere within the system of stores. The regulation of employees and store architecture both set a precedent for customer behavior, all unvarying, compliance-driven, and ultimately, non-social. The standardization of this spatial, social, and physical experience is hostile to the historical culture of the café and is dangerous, ultimately, to democratic principles.

3 Comments

posted April 6th, 2005 at 7:38 am

I really like the idea of a delocator and
the mission statement said it all. They
need one of those for Wal-Mart, too.

posted April 11th, 2005 at 8:55 am

Ah, too bad the delocator only works for the USA. There are 6 characters in Canadian postal codes and a limit of 5 characters in the delocator search window.

I heard a rather unnerving thing when StarBucks was first setting up shop in Toronto: apparently StarBucks decided on new locations by renting locations across the street from already established popular local coffee bars.

I’ve always thought that StarBucks coffee was vastly overrated. It’s just not strong and rich enough. But then I’m not wild about any coffee except the coffee we make at home… unless, of course, we are standing at a coffee bar somewhere in France or Italy… I’ve rarely had poor coffee there.

-Elizabeth, foodsnob? who me?

- ejm
posted April 25th, 2006 at 4:42 am

There is now a delocator for Canada. http://www.delocator.ca/

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