Starbucks goes incognito to gain business

July 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Starbucks is testing a new concept in Seattle, but some people are calling it an over-caffeinated attempt to trick consumers.

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It is opening three new stores that will be branded with the names of their neighborhoods, with no mention of Starbucks.

One, for example, is being called the 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea Shop.

They'll have rustic interiors, will also serve beer and wine, and host events like poetry readings. However, some people are saying Starbucks is trying to lure customers who usually avoid the chain.

"There doesn't seem to be any reason why they should try to trick people," said one customer.

The experiment comes on the heels of tough times for Starbucks, which has seen plummeting earnings, layoffs, and store closings.

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