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Secret Starbucks

For years, as its stores spread like kudzu across the country, Starbucks was accused of driving neighborhood coffee shops out of business. In most cases, it seems to have done exactly the opposite. In recent times, the Seattle-based company is in retreat, having closed hundreds of stores and laid off thousands of employees. But now it’s making a crafty move on its community competitors, opening new locations in Seattle that look, feel, and behave like local mom-and-pop cafes, with the Starbucks logo nowhere in sight. If these prototype “stealth Starbucks” succeed in Seattle, you may well see (or rather, not see) one soon in your city as well. [%comments]