Starbucks: the decline of the empire

Starbucks had been one of the most iconic businesses of the last two decades, turning from a minor regional operator into one of the most powerful brands in the world in the span of 25 years.

Starbucks: the decline of the empire

Matthew Lynn

In Christopher Guest's witty canine mockumentary Best in Show, there is a line of dialogue that tells you everything you need to know about the world's biggest coffee chain. 'We met at Starbucks,' says a woman character of her current romance. 'Not the same Starbucks, but we saw each other at different Starbucks across the street from each other.'

Not many companies are so instantly recognisable that their brand names can be dropped straight into a movie without introduction. Nor are there many whose ubiquity could be the punchline for...

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