Monday, November 30, 2009

Reuters Blogs:
With their feet and their purchases, individual consumers are revolting.  Scholars have started to call this trend, “brand avoidance,” as consumers worried about the larger social and economic impact of brands on society look for other options, even if those options cost a bit more.  In growing numbers, buyers are choosing the local over the brand, the farmers market over the supermarket, the Main Street strip over the mall.  Same with coffee.

While Starbucks closed down outlets in 2008, citing the New Recession as the cause, independent coffee houses, the Seattle Times noted, brought in new customers and they didn’t cut prices.  Over the last few years, in fact, the number of independent coffee houses in the U.S. has jumped past the number of chain store outlets, and now represent 54 percent of the coffee market.


I posted this comment:

In the early 90s I hosted a weekly business radio show in Denver, Colorado. To promote the show I distributed a free newsletter to libraries, bookstores, coffee shops, etc.

SB stores wouldn’t allow my newsletter. SB had a policy of only distributing SB printed material, and they had no bulletin boards for community information.

This really grated on me. Coffee shops have always been community hubs for the dissemination of newsletters, posters about events, etc.

The SB policy may have loosened slightly, but SB and the other chain outlets are a far cry from the community coffee shops that were so important to the healthy growth of this country.

The great good places, as one writer has called them, have been disappearing. Is there a revival taking place? I hope so.

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