For the past couple of months, there has been a great deal of discussion about having a Starbucks coffeehouse open near another franchise coffeehouse, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, in Montrose. (“Starbucks tries to woo business owners, Oct. 7).
Montrose residents and merchants are proud that Honolulu Avenue is the home of many mom-and-pop stores. With the possible inclusion of Starbucks on Honolulu, I would like to ask the “locals” if they truly believe in the free marketplace and competition.
Is competition selective?
My wife and I enjoy patronizing the stores in Montrose. In fact, my wife loves Montrose! We live in East Glenoaks Canyon, and there are many restaurants and retail stores in our neighborhood.
When I told my wife of the controversy surrounding the proposed Starbucks, she was excited and could not understand why some residents would be against this enterprise. We just came back last month from Vancouver, Canada, and it seemed that there was a Starbucks on every corner with people relaxing and enjoying themselves at each location. In fact, in the downtown area, there were two Starbucks on a corner directly across the street from each other.
Is Trader Joe’s a mom-and-pop? I do not think so. When Trader Joe’s moves in, watch traffic on Honolulu and surrounding street traffic increase. I am sure the local merchants will have increased foot traffic.
But some stores, like Gordon’s market, will probably suffer. Our local library will enjoy the added visibility, but firefighters will now have to dodge the cars and traffic in front of their fire station.
Montrose is definitely unique, but when one sees many stores opening and closing, one can only wonder if the old “business model” is out of step and out of date for today’s shoppers, who flock to the malls. Even Starbucks had to change its business model to stay competitive.
We should welcome Starbucks to Montrose, as we have Trader Joe’s, since they both will ultimately “fit in well” and prove to be good neighbors based on their individual track records.