Monday, April 04, 2005

Starbucks 'hurt' by Israel's rejection

I have never been charmed by the World's most ubiquitous coffee chain; overpriced and not better than average quality was the impression that I walked away with when I popped my Starbucks cherry and, although I must admit to being impressed by the orgasmic Chantico Hot Chocolate whilst in NY recently, I would rate my local Cafe Hillel at least as highly.

I was thus amused at Globes' report that
"Starbucks' Howard Schultz feels hurt that Israel is the only market he ever had
to abandon."
Schultz is Jewish and, assuming that he feels some sort of connection, I suppose it's natural that he should feel upset that Sabras turned up their noses at the joys of Skinny Lattes, Frappacinos and the like.

Knowing how my American friends talk about Starbucks, I would be surprised if, given the right location, Starbucks didn't take off. And that is the real key of course - location, location and location.

The spot that best suggests itself in Jerusalem is Emek Refaim which has a massive surfeit of excellent coffee places; Caffit, Hillel, Pituim, Aroma,Tachanat HaCafe and more - many more - is their really room for another? Schultz appears to have concluded that there is not - rather, he is looking at the possibility of buying up an exisiting chain, which, working on the assumption that they have enough clientele to keep them going, would seem like a smart idea; the Starbucks name, coupled with a proven location seems like a winner to me.

Anyone who wants to invest in Israel has my blessing - I just hope that this move is not to the detriment of local Israeli businesses and will resign myself to having to go to Starbucks every time the wife fancies a coffee - always, but always decaffeinated and 0% milk - which I guess explains why she has no objection to substandard coffee.....



Anonymous said...

wasn't there a Starbucks in town about 4/5 years ago?

Gilly said...

Indeed - hence the referal to "rejection".


Anonymous said...


While I am 100% for economic investment in Israel (a friend of mine just bought a second home which will be built in Netanya), I am not a big fan of Starbucks. They (like another big corporate giant called Wal-mart) are putting small family owned coffee-shops out of business in ever city in the US where they open. I don't like that it happens in the US, but I really don't want it to happen in Israel!