Jun 22, 2010

Starbucks seeks its sweet spot

Long a holdout, the Starbucks coffee shop chain yesterday announced that it would switch from having paid WiFi in its shops to unlimited access for its customers' use.

In related news, company officials announced that the shops will also now offer running water and air conditioning.

Back to the Wifi: there was something about a new 'Starbucks Digital Network' being part of the new policy. How come I small a catch?

Starbucks is a case of a large national chain losing its mojo, with its locally-owned competitors making a serious push-back in towns across the land. Its Seattle hipster brand image now seems superceded by that of a lumbering behemoth struggling to free itself from a mud pit. Its failed music foray, last year's store design change and its downscaled menu all offer proof.

Such local comebacks are a rare; but here's to hoping it could be the start of a trend.

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