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Old 10-26-2007, 04:30 PM   #21
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Starbucks Coffee, Vancouver Locations & Pictures, Robson Street, BC Ferries

Vancouver, BC
The City of Vancouver has the biggest concentrations of Starbucks outlets in BC with 88 stores. The majority of these happen to be located in the downtown core and in the neighbourhoods of Kerrisdale, Kitsilano and the West End. Robson Street alone has six outlets.
I visited two of the Starbuck's on Robson Street while in Vancouver early this summer. My daughter slept in at the hotel and I explored early in the morning along Robson. One Starbucks was closed so headed catty corner across the street to the one that was open. It's so weird having that many so close together. Our town only has two Starbucks and two Barnes and Nobles that sells Starbucks. The Barnes and Noble locations are my favorite locations. The Starbuck stores are for my vacations...part of the away from home thing that I truely enjoy.
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:09 PM   #22
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Back to Starbucks - I can only assume it's the ambience/culture that attracts the customers.
Horny teenagers.

And free WiFi for the grownups.
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:14 PM   #23
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I drink the free coffee at work. Whatever is on sale at home.
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:33 PM   #24
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Horny teenagers.

And free WiFi for the grownups.
The horny teenagers might be free, but the WiFi will cost you at Starbucks.
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:09 PM   #25
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I don't think I've ever been in a retail Starbucks - I have had their coffee at airports when there isn't a lot of choice. I don't like it - too strong/bitter.

As a w*rking mom - there is no time to hang out, so between bad coffee and no time, I certainly can't figure out why they are so popular.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:54 PM   #26
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Starbucks stores smell great and that's good enough reason to go in occasionally.
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Old 10-26-2007, 10:01 PM   #27
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For coffee, I prefer McDonald's -- and the price is right. As a Senior (over 55, although no one's ever asked and I suppose to the 16 year old counter clerk, everyone not in their HS class is a senior) I can get a 12 oz. cup of coffee for 25 to 75 cents -- price is set by the local MickyD owner/operator.

I really don't like the taste (or the smell) of Starbux, but I do applaud their policy of providing health care benefits to all workers, who are referred to in Starbuck speak as "partners". See this from the Starbuck's website:

Starbucks Total Pay package is referred to as “Your Special Blend” because it is unique to each partner. Partners who work full time or part time (generally 20 hours or more per week) may participate in a variety of programs, and make choices based on individual needs and interests.

Depending on job and a partner's personal situation, a partner’s total pay package may include:

Progressive Compensation Package
Healthcare Benefits (Medical, Prescription Drugs, Dental and Vision)
Retirement Savings Plan
Stock Options and Discounted Stock Purchase Plan
Income Protection Plan (Life and Disability Coverage)
Management Bonus Plan
Adoption Assistance Plan
Domestic partner benefits
Referral programs and support resources for child and eldercare
Discounted Starbucks merchandise

And of course, all partners get a pound of coffee each week.
(Oh, darn...they lost me with this!!)
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Old 10-26-2007, 10:27 PM   #28
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It's the ambiance. When Howard Schultz was creating the plan for the 'stores' he was modelling the ambiance found in Austrian cafe's. He wanted to provide the customer with an experience that was more than just the coffee. So, as others have said, you get a consistent product, the customer service when you are in the stores is very good, and you're encouraged to stay as long as you like.

Nice place (I'm not crazy about the blend, either), but then there are so many latte competitors in Seattle, there are plenty of choices.

-- Rita
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:30 PM   #29
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*$ needs to brew their fair trade coffee in their stores, not just give it lip service by selling it by the pound. They control something like 20% of the coffee industry; should definitely be better corporate citizens. The $3 cup of coffee is about the daily wage of a coffee picker in Central and South America.

Besides that, I prefer the taste of Dunkin' Donuts, and the side-benefit, all their espresso based drinks are Fair Trade.

I do my best to be an ethical consumer, where I can. This is a very easy change to implement.
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:47 PM   #30
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Consistent known article. You know what you're going to get. On average, if you like what you get there, you can go nearly anywhere and get what you like. They make great pitstops on the road when you need a break. Clean bathroom, good cookies, and a jolt of caffeine before you re-hit the road. A safe bet.

We like Seattle's Best a bit better, that's what we typically make at home. You can have the same coffee as Starbuck's, SB's, Peet's, made in the privacy of your own home for less than a buck a pot, truely a bargain.

I'm as the non-native of Washington State (unlike DW) constantly amazed when we visit downtown Seattle and there is a coffee outlet on 3 of the 4 corners at a typical intersection, and they are all packed with people.
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Old 10-27-2007, 01:19 AM   #31
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Starbucks found out early on, while remodelling a store that traffic will actually increase in both stores if they are across the street from each other. It makes it more of a destination I guess.

I think that, like McDonalds, Starbucks offers consistency. You don't have hit and miss.
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:40 AM   #32
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There's no question that its now fashionable to criticize Starbuck's as the 21st century McDonalds, and I admit I was unhappy to see a second store open within two blocks of my apartment. And I definitely think they have deteriorated from a service and aesthetic point of view in their relentless pursuit of increased average ticket size and same store sales.

But I will be eternally grateful to them for their role in changing the coffee culture in the US. It wasn't that long ago when all you could get was that watered down dishwater that Americans called coffee. Now you can get a decent cup of coffee or even an espresso most anywhere - I don't mean at Starbucks, necessarily, I mean everywhere else. Heck, even most McDonalds and 7-11 have stiffened up their brew. Thanks Howard!

By the way - several people here have commented on the smell of Starbucks - it used to be much better, up until just a few years ago they ground their own coffee in the store - they no longer do.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:25 AM   #33
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Our first Starbuck's is opening in a new shopping center next month. Also our first Chill's restaurant. The price you pay for living in a small town.

I have had Starbuck's coffee when on vacation. Nothing special to me but not bad. Just had a cup of Folger's coffee sweetened with Splenda's hazelnut flavor for coffee. Mmmmm mmmmm good. Ahhhh the simple life.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:14 AM   #34
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Our first Starbuck's is opening in a new shopping center next month. Also our first Chill's restaurant. The price you pay for living in a small town.

I would say that's the benefit of living in a small town - you're not inundated with all these national chain stores.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:20 AM   #35
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[quote=CuppaJoe;571191]Don't quote me but a couple of years ago there was an article about how they come into a good location and gradually increase the caffeine content, hooking people who are already addicted to coffee.quote]

I believe above. I picked up a customer at hotel last week - gourmet free cofee in lobby - he HAD to have me drive up the road to a Starbucks - we passed several other coffee spots.

$2/day for Starbucks is over $1,000 /year of my pretax salary - forget it.

I brew Costco/Kirkland brand at home - great coffee - easy.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:32 AM   #36
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We have a shopping plaza with a starbucks in it, and the grocery store next door to the starbucks also has a starbucks in it.

The first time they opened two stores across the street from each other, I recall some marketing shmoe saying that they increased visibility and eliminated people not wanting to do a u-turn. Having them across the street from each other drove 20+% more traffic into both stores than putting them in discrete locations.

Consumer reports taste tests show that the darker, bitter, overroasted coffee tastes better with milk and sugar than medium roasts. Many starbucks drinks are laden with milk and sugar.

The rest is a package of destination marketing. It makes you feel better about yourself to buy what is presumably a premium product in a premier locale.

Ever check the fat and calorie content of some of the starbucks drinks? More than a big mac. A Venti Java Chip Frappachino has 600 calories and 23 grams of fat. Couple that with a sausage, egg and cheese McGriddle (560 calories, 32 grams of fat) and you've pretty much hit your fat and calorie limit for the day.
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:07 AM   #37
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Consumer reports taste tests show that the darker, bitter, overroasted coffee tastes better with milk and sugar than medium roasts.
If that is true, it explains a lot. I drink my coffee black no sugar, as the gods intended - I love coffee and I want to taste the coffee. If I want milk and sugar I'll have ice cream.

Seems that the coffee snobs criticize Starbucks for the burnt over-roasted taste, and that is how I feel about it. If I actually knew more about the various beans and roasts and things, I'd qualify as a coffee snob. I guess I'm just a coffee-snob-wanna-be. Coffee snobs are probably more likely to drink it black, no sugar. But is also seems, when I buy the beans and brew at home, I think it is pretty good. But are the beans they sell different from what they brew in the store?

At first I figured the coffee snobs were putting it down, just because it is so popular - that counter-culture kind of thing. But I agree with them - over roasted seems to be the problem.

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Old 10-27-2007, 01:07 PM   #38
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I think the over-roasted beans contributes to the aromas in the store and with the addition of milk and sugar it still retains the coffee flavour. Seems to be a brilliant marketing program to me.
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:23 PM   #39
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Starbuck's is my Friday-after-work hangout. I drink my coffee black, no sugar for about $2.00 per cup. I usually sit there at least and hour talking to my buddies so I feel I'm getting my money's worth.

I have heard people complain about the "burnt" taste of Starbucks. I think they just brew it very strong in the stores. When I rarely buy a pound and brew it at home, it does not taste as strong. The brewed coffee in the stores is always fresh, so it is good even if a little strong.

I read somewhere that cup-for-cup Starbucks has more caffeine that other coffees.

For general home consumption, I buy Sam's 100% Arabica at Walmart.
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:28 PM   #40
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Coffee thats been roasted longer and darker has less caffeine than light or medium roast coffees. Although its generally made with darker, lower caffeine beans, coffee made in an espresso machine has approximately double the caffeine of regular coffee due to the high pressure used to make the drink. Decafe coffee still has a little caffeine in it and some broad testing has found decafe coffee with almost the same caffeine level as regular coffee.
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