Not any more

Starbucks arrival fails to faze local cafes

In Canada on August 26, 2010 at 08:59

Sales are up at competing coffee shops in Charlottetown a year after the first Starbucks came to town.

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Starbucks (marked C) joined a half dozen other nearby coffee shops.

The Starbucks opened last September. When Lori Kays, the owner of the independent Beanz Espresso Bar heard it was coming just a few doors down from her own shop, she worried her coffee sales might evaporate.

But by November, she and other operators were noticing an increase in sales, and that trend is holding up. Kays told CBC News Wednesday Starbucks is helping sales by making her customers aware of the more expensive specialty coffees.

“The espresso-based drinks, cappuccinos and frappuccinos and all that kind of thing that Starbucks is famous for, they’re educating people with their national marketing programs,” she said.

“That makes people a little more eager to try some of the specialty coffee drinks.”

Campbell Webster, owner of the Timothy’s franchise, said Starbucks has made the downtown more of a destination.

“Oddly enough, what them arriving has done for us is boost our sales about eight per cent almost instantly from when they showed up,” said Webster.

This is the first tourist season for Starbucks on P.E.I, but Kays said she is still seeing lots of visitors to the Island in her shop.

“I know when I travel to a city, I prefer to find the local kind of mom-and-pop type shops,” she said.

“I just think you get to know a little bit more about the local community when you come into the community-based establishments that have been around for a long time.”

No one from Starbucks was able to tell CBC News on Wednesday how the new Charlottetown shop fared in its first year. A spokesperson in Las Vegas said someone will respond to that request soon.



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