Now that Starbucks Corp. has disclosed the 600 locations it wants to shutter, a phenomenon is taking hold: the Save Our Starbucks campaign.
In towns as small as Bloomfield, N.M., and metropolises as large as New York, customers and city officials are starting to write letters, place phone calls, circulate petitions and otherwise plead with the coffee giant to change its mind.
"Now that it's going away, we're devastated," said Kate Walker, a facilities manager for SunGard Financial Systems, a software company, who recently learned of a store closing in New York City.
It's an unusual twist in the saga of Starbucks, one of the fastest growing retailers of the past decade. For years, Starbucks gained attention when a town didn't welcome it. Independent coffee shops complained about the big-muscled competition, and residents bemoaned the erosion of local character.
But ever since Starbucks announced this month that it would close 600 stores by early next year, as its business struggles, the rallying cause has switched to saving these endangered locations.