||Howard Schultz and Depression
Posted: 4/9/2010 1:52:35 PM
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This is Schlutz's best line:
"I think people some people underestimated the resiliency of the brand,
the emotional connection that we have to our customers. Our customers wanted us to win, they wanted us to succeed because of
the importance that the physical environment of the store was in their
life and also with 10 percent unemployment ...
our stores became a very important resource for people, a place to go,
a place to have a meeting, a place to do their work, a place not to be
A place not to be depressed. Perhaps this is true, but only for some. (Other might find Starbucks depressing.) But really this is an interesting observation. As discussed before here, people need social interaction and they seek social interaction when they aren't depressed or without work.
It would be interesting to see Starbucks really embrace what Schultz is saying and making itself into a central location for job seekers. (Jason Simon has talk about this possible new coffeehouse role in some of his blogs.)
Schultz is right, people need a resources, they need a place to go, and they need a place to get information about jobs. That place used to be the public library (and still is to a certain extent). But yet again, we see how budget cuts have slashed library hours, and really the resources for the poor and underemployed. And yet again, we see how the re-treat of the state and of the older social contract can provide profitable opportunities for business. As public spaces like libraries go into retreat, private spaces have moved in and taken on some of these roles -- the roles Schultz refers to above.
For the entire interview with Schultz and a few of my comments, go to the UC Press link.
Note at the end of this segment, Schultz gets his coffee in a paper cup to go.
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