Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pass the (Star)bucks - or don't

Yesterday, my father in law gave me a copy of a Daily Bulletin article that listed the local Starbucks that are closing, two of which are close to me.

The one on South Mountain Avenue in Upland used to be my favorite Starbucks, back when the Pavilions was there. At one point a picture of my family was on the bulletin board there.

But over the years, the quality of that Starbucks deteriorated, and after the Pavilions closed, and after the Starbucks opened just across the freeway in Ontario at Mountain & 6th, I figured it was a matter of time before the one at Mountain and 7th would close.

I'm sadder, however, to see the Starbucks at San Antonio & Holt be on the closure list, although in retrospect, I see why that one is closing also.

I'd usually only visit the Ontario Starbucks early in the morning, between 6:30 and 7:00 (for example, on April 15). The place looked immaculate, there was hardly ever a wait to get your drink, and when there was a long wait one day, I got a free drink coupon without even asking for one.

But once I put two and two together, I realized that the short waits at this Starbucks were obviously not good for business. That one will be missed.

The Daily Bulletin printed the local Starbucks closure list on July 18:

2795 Cabot Drive, at Dos Lagos, Corona
115 N. McKinley St., near Magnolia Avenue, Corona
3840 Sierra Ave., at the 15 Freeway, Fontana
16645 Sierra Lakes Parkway, near Sierra Avenue, Fontana
6253 Pats Ranch Road, near Limonite Avenue, Mira Loma
4467 Mission Blvd., near Ramona Avenue, Montclair
2254 S. Euclid Ave., near Philadelphia Street, Ontario
2200 S. Grove Ave., near Philadelphia Street, Ontario
562 W. Holt Blvd., near San Antonio Avenue, Ontario
12592 Foothill Blvd., near the 15 Freeway, Rancho Cucamonga
386 S. Mountain Ave., at Mountain Square, Upland

Originally it appeared that the list would be much shorter. When M-m-m-my Pomona and David Allen got their preliminary information on July 14 and July 17, it appeared that only the Montclair location would be closing. David Allen later clarified:

The link I provided was to's July 11-dated list of closures. That list apparently was a work in progress.

Actually, it was a list of the first stores to close:

As we announced on July 1, 2008, Starbucks will close approximately 600 company-operated stores in the U.S. beginning this month and continuing through the first half of FY09. Partners (employees) in the stores listed below have now been given notification that their stores will close by the end of this month.

The full list, which includes all eleven stores cited above, does not provide specific closure dates.

In the spirit of transparency with our partners, customers and communities, we have provided the full list of stores below for general information purposes. Store partners will receive advance notice and more details from their leadership team once a specific closure date has been confirmed. After specific closure dates have been communicated to all affected partners, we will continue to update the confirmed store list....

And there's an important caveat:

This list is provided solely for general information purposes, and does not create any obligation or commitment by Starbucks Coffee Company with respect to the closure of any particular store. This list is based on currently available operating, financial and competitive information. Actual store closures may differ depending on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, risks related to finalization of third party agreements, expected costs savings, income tax and other benefits associated with the store closures in the anticipated time frame, if at all. Starbucks undertakes no obligation to notify third parties of such changes.

To be continued.

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