Forget the housing market. An even better sign of impending economic disaster is the fact that fewer people visited Starbucks last quarter.
Starbucks Corp. said Thursday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit jumped 35 percent, though its first-ever drop in U.S. traffic sent shares plummeting.
The world’s largest specialty coffee retailer said it plans to open 100 fewer stores in fiscal 2008 than originally forecast but it brushed aside suggestions that it has oversaturated some markets.
Last week in a supermarket parking lot a woman asked me if I knew where she could find a Starbucks nearby.
Since I don’t drink coffee, and certainly not at $100 a gallon, I had to think of where I had seen one and wound up pointing her in the right direction.
As I was driving home, however, I started running up and down the area’s major roads in my head and realized I knew of six locations within two miles of where I was.
…and if you walk to the end of the block, there sits a Starbucks. And directly across the street — in the exact same building as that Starbucks — there is… another Starbucks. There is a Starbucks across the street from a Starbucks! And ladies and gentlemen, THAT is the end of the universe.