Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Watch Out, Scandanavia! Here Comes Starbucks...

In my daily news from the US Embassy came this tidbit:

McDonalds, Burger King, 7-11 – and now Starbucks. As the latest US global consumer phenomenon, the Seattle-based international coffee giant will open its first outlet in this country at Copenhagen Airport on the 1st of June, in response to demands from coffee-thirsty travelers. A spokesman for Copenhagen Airport Au-thorities said: ‘Everybody keeps asking why there is no Starbucks at the airport so we’ve made a massive effort to attract the company here. It’s a massive compliment to us that we will be home to the first Star-bucks in Scandinavia.’
One of the most charming things about Denmark that I have discovered is that the small store is alive and well. There are chains, but they compete with small, entreprenurial shops run by families. This is something the US has lost in the last 50 years of suburbanization and the ever present pursuit of "a bargain." Denmark, and the rest of Scandavia would do well to guard against this particular American phenomenon.

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