YAKIMA, Wash.— The Starbucks that could have been in downtown Yakima may have been part of a planned U.S. store expansion.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the Seattle-based company had plans to open 1,500 new stores over the next five years.
In the article, Starbucks’ domestic business chief Cliff Burrows, said the point is to “deepen” the chain’s presence in markets by opening stores in more convenient locations. That includes stores with smaller formats and drive-thrus.
Certainly, a Starbucks in downtown Yakima would have been a much more convenient location for those who are working and visiting the area. But alas, that ship might have sailed when the city denied the land use application for the proposed development, which reportedly was to include a Starbucks with a drive-thru, at Second Street and Yakima Avenue.
Gene Balk at the Seattle Times had a fun piece this morning looking at the Starbucks per capita in large U.S. cities. Not surprisingly, Seattle had the highest stores per capita with 23 for every 100,000 people.
He didn’t calculate the figure for Yakima, so I thought I would put on my math cap on (I’m a business reporter, it’s got to happen once in a while).
I’m not sure if Balk’s data includes contract stores at places like airports or Safeways, but for my calculations I will include them.
So in Yakima proper, there are eight stores — four company stores and four contract stores inside Safeway supermarkets. According to the calculations that equals 8.78 stores for ever 100,000 people.
That’s well below Seattle numbers, but well above the per capita figures for many U.S. cities including my hometown of Louisville, Ky., which has just 4.3 stores per 100,000.
If you look at the Starbucks store locator map, you can practically draw a circle on areas that may provide some more convenient Starbucks locations. Downtown/Terrace Heights is one of them, though the Safeway contract store on Fifth and Lincoln avenues serves some of that area.
Another area where a Starbucks could provide some extra convenience is one that includes Nob Hill Boulevard to the south, 16th Avenue to the east, Castlevale Road to the north and 40th Avenue to the west.
Where would you like to see a Starbucks? Post your thoughts in the comments below.