A Bad Site is a Bad Site
(No matter who goes there)

Starbucks photo

Sometime during the spring of 2009, this Starbucks in the Village of Southampton, New York closed its doors forever.

Some might say "big deal"...as part of a restructuring, the company is scheduled to close somewhere around 600 units just like this one - all across the country. What makes this one so special?

Well... because believe it or not, it should never have been built in the first place and I think we can learn from their mistakes, that's why.

If you were to look at a demographic report of the area, you'd see that they were certainly sound and really had little effect on why they chose this unit to close. Southampton is a big part of the toni New York “Hamptons” scene and an upscale area if there ever was one.

Within a three-mile radius of the site, the 2007 median household income was well of over $64,658 and had year-round population of 10,983 people (which swells in the summer months, mostly by people that live the rest of the year in Manhattan - where there is almost a Starbucks located on every corner). In other words, it was surrounded by its core customers.

As far as cannibalization was concerned, the closest Starbucks to this one was located in West Hampton, NY, well over seven miles away, so cannibalization was certainly no issue here.

Physically; the approach-side visibility was good; 150 yards at least, it was located on the AM side of the street (which is a very good thing for a coffee company) and the traffic counts were a solid 32,000 ADT (Average Daily Traffic). In fact County Road 39, the roadway leading up to the site, had just completed a major upgrade and added another eastbound lane, just in time for the start of the 2008 summer season.

The 1,800 square foot freestanding building was set back ten feet from the curb, the lot had two curb cuts and dedicated 20 car parking. The signage looked to be their standard package (circular backlit can sign complete with full-image logo). OK...so it didn’t have a drive-through window, but was that crime enough to be among the 600 or so stores the company closed?

Well…the truth is, no…it was just bad dirt. Just how bad a site was it?

Well, not to add insult to injury, but there’s a 7-Eleven franchise (the store's only real competition in the area) not 400 feet past this site that sold more than $800,000 worth of (7-Eleven) coffee the same year that Starbucks decided to close this unit…that’s how bad!

Next - Things that can make a site stink


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