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Slate: Starbucks Actually Helps Drives Up Business At Competing Coffee Shops

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While Acton fought this fall to keep Starbucks out of its neighborhood, Slate weighs in with an article explaining that having a Starbucks chain store actually helps drive up business at local coffee chains, as well as Mom and Pop shops. How so? By essentially getting customers hooked on the stuff. For example, Herb Hyman ran his Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf business without competition from Starbucks when the chain approached him in 1991. "They just flat-out said, 'If you don't sell out to us, we're going to surround your stores,' " Hyman tells Slate. "And lo and behold, that's what happened—and it was the best thing that ever happened to us." Unlike business-killers like Wal-Mart, Starbucks doesn't sell its product cheaper-- but at a higher price point. Still, there are instances of when a Starbucks has squashed a smaller cafe and aesthetically, one can see why one may not want the stores in a neighborhood.
· Don't Fear Starbucks [Slate]