Quest Means Business   « Back to Blog Main
July 8, 2009
Posted: 2200 GMT

Today, the coffee shop where I bought my afternoon latte and muffin went out of business. Coffee Republic wasn't the best in the world but it was conveniently across the street. And the staff often double stamped my loyalty card!

The end was swift. Some colleagues had even bought their breakfast and lunch there. Then the sign went up saying it was in administration and that branch was closed. I could see through the window the staff taking it all in. The food counters still had muffins, cakes and sandwiches for sale.

So why am I bringing this to your attention? Because The IMF, the European Union, the US Treasury – just about anyone who studies these things – is now saying things will get better next year. Some are more optimistc than others.

But the reality is the improvement will be slow and painstaking. And there are many more Coffee Republics, clothing, candy, grocery – you name it – stores that will fail.

The stock market's sharp post-March rally was a cruel deception. It led so many to believe this is over. It was an enthusiastic bout of nonsense, as I suspect this 2nd quarter earning season just starting, will show.

As for my afternoon shot of coffee and a muffin? Well there are two Starbucks just about within spitting distance of each other ... and a variety of other coffee shops.

In a recession as long and deep as this one only the strongest companies, and those that have the best products and really give the customer what they want, stand any chance of suriving. And even that is not a certainty as Coffee Republic proved.

Who is next?

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Filed under: Business •Profitable Moment •Quest Means Business

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Rene Fernandez   July 8th, 2009 10:15 pm ET

Imagine how it is in the less developed countries, namely South America or Africa! This recession is going to last longer than previously thought. That´s for sure... and the effects will be disastrous for everybody.

Liz   July 8th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

some of my favorite businesses went under or had to move to a town where it's cheaper to do business.

it's sad to see a longtime favorite close, especially when there's no warning.

i'm also hoping things will get better and soon but i know that it'll take longer than the feds let on.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu   July 8th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

A little spot, just a few blocks from my house, where my brother and I mostly bought fish i tomato stew with 'agidi' (a local wrapped pudding made from corn) just closed shop; while restaurant chains like Chicken Republic (a huge fast food chain in Lagos, Nigeria) keeps opening up shop everywhere. There are two new ones just in my neighbourhood alone.
The small businesses are the ones dying off while the big ones seem to thrive. Wonder why...

Aleksandar   July 8th, 2009 10:17 pm ET

... blackmail policy brings changes in the ownership of the reward to those who are working on their request ... who worked in the ... or who will work now !?

Last week some make interview two times on therein plases. !?

Who worked or who is strange to now and who decides !?

Blond Rocker   July 8th, 2009 10:50 pm ET


Tsk, tsk. Your loyalty card was double-stamped? Now your muffin shop is closed. Surely a case for some old-fashioned investigative journalism.

Seriously, lots of stores are closing at a moments notice in Yorkville. Very sad. In the high end boutiques, all you see are the employees and a security guard.

We need a 2nd stimulus for small biz and the unemployed. COBRA will expire for millions in US this year and add hundreds of thousands to health uninsured.

2nd stimuus for people only – no political pork.

Silk Stocking District/ Upper East Side

Levon - Redondo Beach, CA   July 8th, 2009 11:08 pm ET

My big fear is that by the time this recession is over - assuming it ever actually ends - we will be left only three or four large congloms selling us everything. Forget the stock market, let the corporates use their over-paid creative development departments to figurer out how to stay afloat. Help the economy, omit spending at big corporate businesses, support the mom-and-pop shops in your community. Keep the money circulating locally and it will become an elevator stronger and faster than Otis himself could ever possibly have imagined possible!

Manuel Vilhena   July 9th, 2009 6:32 am ET

It is a deep recession indeed. The gains that occurred in the stock markets after March have almost gone. I am nobody to know what is next. By the way, I would like to listen Todd Benjamin's point of view on your program. Cheers.

Lee Smith (JhB, South Africa)   July 9th, 2009 7:50 am ET

The Simplicity and pleasure one finds in a Coffee & a muffin – the inventors of this 21st century breakfast are genius- really who needs the formal breakfast to start the day – I have wondered – who decided what was considered a "good breakfast food"and what should only be eaten at lunch and dinner ... I think i'll leave my food for thought right there....

Shrinath   July 9th, 2009 12:10 pm ET

Take to tea. Stiff upper lip and all that sort of thing, old chap.

requiredreading   July 9th, 2009 1:06 pm ET

In central London, and around the world, the world is at your feet...take your pick. You have made are famous. WHERE is next? Which planet is in your yearning?

Lyndon Sullivan @lindano on twitter   July 9th, 2009 4:25 pm ET

Hi Richard, sorry to hear your muffin cafe has failed,but like you say its all to common now, in this global reseccion.I think gov ts.have got to talk up ,that we are coming out o f the "Crunch" to try & allay peoples fear of loosing their jobs, houses ,businesses,etc,Its the old saying "talk yourself into reseccion" "talk yourself out".When the reseccion ends we will all know, but until then, its all conjecture.Hopefully we will come out of reseccion sooner than later.Yours, Lyndon Sullivan.@lindano on Twitter.

mikeg   July 13th, 2009 5:58 pm ET

hi Richard,
love the insights but when are you going to podcast your nightly show. The segments are fine but for some of us viewers, we are still in the trenches when you broadcast.
Sorry, i am a costa man, the starbucks americano might be 15 pence (approximately 23 cents) cheaper but the 'C' Suite is more smoother.

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