Q & A REGARDING THE PROPOSED STARBUCKS IN 7 CORNERS:
Q: It seems like a Starbucks will generate sales; isn't that good for our economy?
A: Actually, studies have shown that chain stores don't generate new sales, they simply shift economic activity from one part of town to another. Also, because Starbucks is a multinational corporation, their number one goal is to make as big a profit as possible. That means aggressively eliminating any local cafes so that Starbucks is the only option when you want a cup of coffee. When this happens, the community is the big loser, we lose our cafes, along with the tax revenue and jobs they provide.
Being a multinational corporation also means that Starbucks channels its profits back to the national level where purchasing and advertising business is conducted. Local cafes keep their profits circulating in the local economy by doing business with other independent businesses for such tasks as construction, transportation, advertising, banking, etc.
Q: But all they sell is coffee, what's wrong with that?
A: "Meeting for coffee" is a safe and friendly social practice that builds community, especially here in the Northwest. However, Starbucks is a "formula store" meaning they all look the same, sapping communities of their individuality. In today's market communities with character and local culture are more likely to attract customers.
Unfortunately, selling coffee is not simple when almost all those beans are coming from Third World farmers who depend on coffee sales to scrape by. Coffee prices are at an all time low, hovering around $.50 with no increase in sight. This means that farmers are becoming even more impoverished, going further into debt and losing their land. Meanwhile coffee companies such as Starbucks have not lowered consumer prices but are pocketing the difference. Specific to the proposed 7 Corners location, within 5 blocks 3 different shops sell organic fair trade coffee at a lower price than Starbucks (who only offers1% of their coffee as fair trade and its available in bags only).
Q: Why protest a Starbucks, aren't they a good corporate citizen?
A: Catch phrases like "being a good corporate citizen" or "prioritizing the customer" are all part of the most recent corporate strategy to maximize profits. These PR moves distract the customer away from the fact that Starbucks is siphoning money from the local economy and directing it toward national corporate offices.
An absentee-owned corporation is never a replacement for local ownership by people who tend to have a far greater concern for the welfare and long-term vitality of our neighborhoods.