this howard story refuses to die. the ny times is all over it today in 2 separate articles, both of which show little understanding of the retail coffee business.
the first article, which i can't link to since it's a times select thing, features business writer joe nocera mocking howard for his desire to try to save the cachet of his brand. nocera argues that the dilution has already occured; the mermaid's now just another drive-thru fast-food chain.
and in a certain sense this is true. but it's actually not too late to return howard to his specialty coffee roots, if he really wanted to redeem himself.
even i can think instantly of 3 strategies with which he could do it, and i'm far from a retail expert. but i do know my coffee and how to interest people in drinking it.
to quote the beatles here, howard, "you know my name. . .that's right."
the second article tries to take howard -- and by extension all coffeehouses -- to task for charging for wi-fi. the author, randall stross, doesn't understand the details of the retail specialty coffee business at all, which is demonstrated by his use of panera as a comparison.
stross, you need to meet tonx. he will 'splain it all to you: free wi-fi is electronic cocaine.
and in a specialty coffee context, that's a problem. and what i was drinking while reading all this?
andrew's ecco sweet-n-syrupy daterra reserve espresso as a post-yoga americano, of course. . .
Tags: coffee :: espresso :: howard :: the mermaid :: starbucks :: tonx :: ny times :: wi-fi :: specialty :: retail :: andrew barnett :: ecco :: daterra :: fortune :: frelkins :: brooklyn :: bklyn :: bread coffee chocolate yoga :: frelkins :: fortune elkins :: bklyn :: brooklyn