It is there for everyone to see.
Shining brightly on the Lynnway, across the street and a block away from Wal-Mart and the city’s industrialized waterfront, in the building where a used car dealership most recently stood. . .a brand new Starbucks coffee shop, complete with a drive-thru.
It is a sign of the times folks, Lynn is, to borrow a song from the 80’s sitcom The Jeffersons, ‘Movin’ on up.’
The addition of a new Starbucks store in Lynn is indeed a sign that Lynn has turned a corner in the way that corporate America sees the city.
Now, you may be inclined to say that a Starbucks on the Lynnway – with a drive-thru no less – is nothing more than a sign that Starbucks wants to capture those morning drive customers on their way from points further up the North Shore on their way to jobs in Boston.
I disagree, but please let me explain.
You see Starbucks did not get to be the most influential chain of coffee shops this side of Dunkin’ Donuts by focusing on the weekday morning drive. Their business plan is to provide for coffee domination, at all hours of the day and on all days of the week.
That Starbucks will not make its first year sales estimates simply by selling coffee during the morning rush hour from Monday to Friday.
When Starbucks makes a decision to open a store, it is because they have determined that the store will be able to attract customers throughout the day and especially on weekends.
In neighboring Swampscott, in Vinnin Square, the Starbucks there does a brisk weekday morning business that would be the envy of any mom-n-pop shop in America. But, on weekends there is a line out the door from 7:30 a.m. until sometime around 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Make no mistake about it, Starbucks customers worship at the cappuccino machine before they head to church on Sunday.
That is what the chain expects, that is what they plan for.
If Starbucks is opening in Lynn, it is because they see growth – nay gentrification – in Lynn and they believe that their new store will be busy morning, noon and late afternoon and especially on weekends.
In order for that store to be busy on weekends, it is going to have to be Lynners who are heading down the Lynnway, because those other North Shore folks tend to stay a bit closer to home or head away from the city on their weekends.
Starbucks on the Lynnway is a good sign, even if you don’t like their coffee.
It means there are more people living here now with money.