American global brand Starbucks recently released plans to open 14 new locations in the downtown Silver Spring, MD area, bringing the total to 18 locations within a 1 mile radius.
“Starbucks is a company that stands for options, and we bring those options,” said Angie Bruhn, district manager of the Washington DC metro area. “Do you want a double, half cap mochachino or a half pumpkin spice, half gingerbread decaf soy latte? At Starbucks, you have that choice.”
Since its founding in 1971, Starbucks has grown into a globally recognized coffee powerhouse known for occupying highly visible real estate throughout cities in America. The chain has over 20,000 stores internationally, with roughly ⅔ in the United States. The planned locations will put an additional location on each of the blocks of the central business district, one inside the Civic Building at Veteran’s Plaza, one inside the office of Discovery Communications CEO, David Sazlav, and one inside the Starbucks on Ellsworth Lane.
“We’ve got a really novel and forward thinking idea for our nesting Starbucks stores.” Bruhn went on. “What’s the only thing bad about going to a Starbucks? The line. Now, when you go into Starbucks on Ellsworth and there’s a long line, you just go into the Starbucks inside the Starbucks. Problem solved.”
Despite their popularity, not everyone is happy about the new locations. Several local businesses are being ousted from their locations so landlords can fill their properties with safe, secure anchor tenants. “Starbucks is crushing small, local businesses.” said one shop owner. “And you can’t blame people for shopping at Starbucks. Starbucks takes up every position imaginable and makes it incredibly inconvenient to patronize local businesses.”
Starbucks refutes that they hurt small business and actually often contend that they help small Mom and Pop coffee shops. They bring attention to coffee and convert non-coffee drinkers into coffee consumers.
“In addition to choices, we’re helping to develop a coffee scene in a city that is desperately lacking one,” Bruhn went on. “There are no cultures that really have a rich history in coffee represented in Silver Spring. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met even one french person here.”
When asked about why Starbucks chose to have 14 locations, Bruhn replied, “Well 13 is an unlucky number.”