Starbucks pulls back big in Baton Rouge

Congratulations to Baton Rouge on shedding a whopping nine Starbucks locations in the coffee-peddler’s pullback. By comparison, all of metro Atlanta will see just 10 Starbucks close in the downsizing. Baton Rouge will have but four Starbucks after the closings.

I’m commenting from a distance and without having been down to Louisiana for almost a year, but I have to think the Starbucks retreat speaks volumes about the success of Community Coffee in building out their CC’s Coffee House chain as well as Louisiana’s deeply-entrenched coffee culture and general embracing of things local over giant chain stores.

Given the price of oil and Louisiana’s ties to the industry, I would assume the economy down there is in no worse shape than anyplace else, so I doubt Starbucks is leaving because it doesn’t like the market. I have to think it’s just getting its butt stomped down there. The chain was very late in coming to Baton Rouge, and most of their stores probably fit the model of new and unestablished they say they’re looking for in the closings, but if the company is simply losing to the locals in Baton Rouge, that would make me happy.

Somebody lift a Cafe au Lait for me in celebration.

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4 Responses to “Starbucks pulls back big in Baton Rouge”

  1. John says:

    I doubt if CC’s is having as big an effect as you think. The Starbuck’s at Perkins Rowe is diagonally opposite a CC’s at Bluebonnet and Perkins. I go to both. They both have about the same crowd.

    However, not 150 feet from Starbucks at Perkins Rowe is Barnes & Noble with their own coffee shop and a whole lot of seating area with…books!

    Add to that, we’re supposed to get a Borders soon, hopefully complete with their own coffee shop serving Seattle’s Best (great marketing name by the way if you’re trying to overpower Starbucks). And it’s really good coffee to boot.

    The problem now is that Starbuck’s business model doesn’t allow them to cut 75% off their price of a cup of their coffee, a point that is hard to suffer with the state of the economy. People are driving less, staying home more, and luxuries like frozen coffee drinks are going by the wayside just to be able to afford milk, cereal, and other needed items.

    It’s just a reality of our times.

  2. Cap'n Ken says:

    Well, first of all, Seattle’s Best is owned by Starbucks … and how do you explain 9 closings in Baton Rouge compared to 10 in all of metro Atlanta (5 million people, you know)? And how many CCs are closing?

    I think Baton Rouge deserves credit for being Starbucks-resistant, but you’d know better than me I guess.

  3. John says:

    I just don’t see the volume at the other coffee shops as such a threat. Maybe it’s the extreme heat right now and people aren’t drinking as much coffee. Maybe it’s just me.

    I hate to see the Starbucks at Perkins Rowe close. It was one of the first five businesses that opened there. The construction has slowed to a snails crawl and if it really is a signal of bad times there, then it’s a bad omen for the city period. The Council put their full faith and force behind Spinosa and Perkins Rowe. I’d hate to be the ones to have to tell them “I told you so.”

  4. TCL says:

    Greetings from Japan. You can’t throw a chunk of dried fish without hitting a Starbucks here. Strange to not be able to communicate in English with someone for 12 hours or so, except for “Grande Caramel Frappuchino” (Griff’s drink) — OK, not exactly English.

    Anyhoo, notwithstanding the island-of-familiarity aspect when in foreign lands, I applaud the Starbucks-resistant strain in the BR populace. My sister-in-law is a coffee fanatic and sticks with CC’s.

    And I’ve been to Perkins Rowe a couple of times and believe that it is a massive boondogle. I dislike it.

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