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World's Must Successful Brand Utterly Thrashed

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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This morning at seven a.m., the two on-duty employees of the East Village's Starbucks (the one at 7th Street and 2nd Avenue, not the two at 8th Street and 3rd Avenue) were doing their lame, terrible job of providing coffee to people who were awake too early to go either to Mud Coffee across the street or Taralluci e Vino on 1st and 10th, because places that serve decent coffee open ridiculously late because New York City is the city that never doesn't sleep in. There was as usual no one manning the cappuccino machine and they were playing really bad music and somehow, despite the light customer flow, there was a line growing, because they are incompetent. Fortunately, that nightmare may be over, now that Starbucks is closing 600 of its stores—a little more than 8 percent of its number of U.S. stores. (Please let one be that one!) Not that any of the some 12,000 soon-to-be-displaced-or-offloaded "employee-owners" knew that before the CEO announced it to investors.

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