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What’s happening to Starbucks?

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One Monday morning, I was walking up the street to get my daily triple venti, half sweet, non-fat, iced caramel macchiato, as many students do. I got to the
doors and what did I see? The entire inside of the coffee shop gutted and cleaned out, the door was locked, and I was standing there again with no warning that my favourite location would be shut down. This has been leaving me with a burning question: “what on earth is happening to Starbucks?”

To be honest, it is absolute insanity that I have to drive around the city searching for a coffee shop that serves my specific order. When I ask my fellow students about this, they say that they have been experiencing the same disappointment. So of course, like any journalist, I did some digging. In 2019, the Edmonton Journal stated in an article that “a Starbucks spokesperson said closures like this aren’t out of the ordinary. ‘As a normal part of doing business, every year we open many new stores, we close some, and renovate/relocate a few others,’ read the company’s statement.”

Although that statement was made over two years ago, it still holds true. Some locations such as the Starbucks in Garneau have also recently closed. The more I researched the more I came to the conclusion that we are far from the end.

Food News stated in an article that “Starbucks will be closing up to 200 locations across Canada over the course of two years, the company has announced to stakeholders. The move is part of an overall ‘restructure’ of the brand’s business in Canada.”

I know what some of you might be thinking: “just get coffee somewhere else.” To that I say “never.” I’ve tried it all, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, A&W, and it’s below average every time. Even last week I bought a Nespresso machine because an influencer was posting it on her TikTok, and the coffee looked similar to my order, but again, disappointment. I think about the incentive a carefully crafted coffee can have for students like me: there is nothing more rewarding than dressing up and walking into class with an “extra” coffee order. As a student, I don’t have enough time to drive around the city with my empty tank of gas to try and find a Starbucks. I find myself driving past seven or even eight Tim Hortons before I am even close to a Starbucks.

Although we have a Starbucks right in the heart of Building 6 at MacEwan University, the lineup is unbearably long between those staple class times. This Starbucks location also had limited items and will not let you use your collected stars for promotions such as free drinks or food. So, you see, specialty coffees aren’t just for me, they are for all students who want to feel a little extra special during a day of studying, homework, and working that dreadful part-time job.

If I had one thing to say to the CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, I would say “if it’s not broke don’t fix it,” and stop playing these mind games and closing our favourite locations. Sincerely, a Starbucks addict.

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