Remember to Curtsey When You Meet the Queen

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DAIRY-QUEEN-TRIPLE-CHOCOLAT.jpgYour Highness, may we present Mr. Schultz from Starbucks?

The world we thought we knew is upside down and backwards, wouldn't you agree? Food is more expensive because we're turning corn into fuel, but gas is still $4 a gallon. A study published today by Research and Markets reports, breathlessly, that 71 percent of Americans are now cooking more at home. (And cooking "gourmet" food at that.)

Meanwhile Starbucks has identified the 600 stores it intends to close. Many of them, it turns out, are in minority neighborhoods. The enthusiastic welcome given Starbucks in these communities--a sort of "we've arrived!"--is turning bitter.

In Chicago, the closings include stores in largely minority areas in the south suburbs as well as neighborhoods on Chicago's South and West Sides. "Starbucks became symbolic of a community that was changing and in transition," says the director of the Near West Side Community Development Corp. "To take that away, it's a blow to a community."

Meantime, Dairy Queen is testing new stores in urban markets, opening six stores in (of all places), Chicago. Yes, Dairy Queen and her ever-present Sancho Panza, Orange Julius. (Make that "Julius, Prince of Orange.")

The DQ brand has long been a brand associated with small towns and suburbs, while Orange Julius joints have rarely ventured outside shopping malls. What's their product strategy? Why, smoothies, of course. DQ wants to become known as a "treat center."

Vivanno and Frappuccino, you're in the treat business, right? Meet Blizzard and Triple Chocolate Utopia. You should have a lot in common.

Then again, "plays well with others" probably isn't going to be the deciding factor.

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on July 19, 2008 12:12 AM.

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