Starbucks' Globalization

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Starbucks' Globalization


This essay is about Starbucks Corporation, which is a leading American multinational company based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks has evolutionized the way coffee is consumed throughout the world in general and America in particular. In a span of three decades Starbucks Corporation has risen from a very humble beginning to be one of the successful American Corporations. It has spread its brand across the globe in league with other iconic American corporations like McDonald's and Disney. It has also succeeded in making to the list of Fortune's 100 best companies to work for in a very short time. (Sweet 2007)

The Ethnographic Study

For this assignment, I choose one of Seattle's world-known features - Starbucks, the place I walk past every day. Around the corner of 42 St and U-Way, Starbucks stands leisurely in the sun, welcoming people from near and far, as always.

A look of age differentiates the Starbucks in its birthplace from those located elsewhere in the world. The brick built architecture with the khaki bricks, green awnings, and the big green-white logo. Their colours are full of harmony, and the ranch house itself is even better blending in the surroundings.

I pull the glass door and walk in. Immediately I am wrapped by the familiar scent of coffee and the faint music of Jazz.  It is a little weird that we hardly care about the scent or the music, but we would feel something missing if they are gone. That is because they are the indispensible “Starbucks element”.

I order a tall cappuccino and the girl writes my name on the paper cup, which brings me a sense of intimacy with Starbucks. The paper cups look different from last time I came. They are dressed up in bright red with white snowflakes. This is for the coming winter and Christmas, I guess.

 After placing the order, I walk to a window, starting to read the store and the people here. This store is small yet not cramped. Space is fully used and deliberately adorned. Pictures on the left wall introduce the manufacturing process of Starbucks' coffee. There are shelves and baskets in the middle or around the counter, loaded with beautifully packaged coffee and other Starbucks products. Sometimes it is just hard to tell whether they are here to be sold or to decorate a “Starbucks atmosphere”. Tables and chairs are laid on the left corner and along the right window in a row, leaving enough room for the lines in front of the counter.

It is interesting to watch people waiting in the line. Some are just standing quietly without doing anything; some are fiddling with their cell phones; some are impatient, moving around while keeping their eyes on the counter. Once the orders are done, they grab their coffee and dart out of the store.

Most customers are UW students and they come in pairs or flocks. They treated the period as an opportunity to chat. There, two twenty something girls having a lively conversation on their Spanish ...
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