Sunday, March 8, 2020

How the Starbucks Policy of Allowing Anyone to Just Sit in Stores Has Hurt Its Business

From a new paper by Umit Gurun, Jordan Nickerson, and David H. Solomon:
In May 2018, in response to protests, Starbucks changed its policies nationwide to allow anybody to sit in their stores and use the bathroom without making a purchase. Using a large panel of anonymized cellphone location data, we estimate that the policy led to a 7.3% decline in store attendance at Starbucks locations relative to other nearby coffee shops and restaurants. This decline cannot be calculated from Starbucks’ public disclosures, which lack the comparison group of other coffee shops. The decline in visits is around 84% larger for stores located near homeless shelters. The policy also affected the intensive margin of demand: remaining customers spent 4.1% less time in Starbucks relative to nearby coffee shops after the policy enactment. 


(via Tyler Cowen)


  1. Karma's a b*tch. I cut up my Starbucks's card and mailed it to Schultz's home address when he banned guns and told his minimum wage stoolies to engage me in a conversation about race.

  2. The report from a UT Dallas student, is 42 pages long and available in a free easy download- no registration required. If anyone has the inclination or interest to read the actual report , please post any interesting excerpts.