Coffee shop bosses are optimistic that cautious customers will soon be returning for their regular caffeine fix again.Despite tough trading during the last six months, executives expect conditions to begin improving in the next few months, although they don’t anticipate full recovery until at least the middle of next year.Allegra Strategies’ UK Coffee Leader Survey of 100 top executives in the coffee shop industry shows that the number who report the impact of the recession has been “neutral or positive” outweighs those who say it has been “difficult or very difficult”. More executives think the economic situation will improve in the next three to six months than those who think it will take longer.While 2008 marked a record year for the branded UK coffee chain market, with 15% growth in turnover, growth has slowed down this year. “There is evidence that consumers are visiting a little less and spending a little less because of the current recession, but our research found that 80% of customers are continuing to visit just as much,” said a spokesman. “A cup of coffee is a little treat that many consumers are not prepared to do away with.”Allegra Strategies will reveal the full results of its survey at the UK Coffee Leader Summit on 19 May in London where speakers will include Starbucks UK and Ireland MD Darcy Wilson-Rymer.
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionBack in the early ‘70s I joined in the biggest protest marches the country had ever seen. After serving in Vietnam, I did what a lot of vets did. I got an education with the GI Bill, got divorced, got a job, and went to Washington D.C. to protest against the war.Let’s fast-forward about 50 years. I’m protesting again. The Women’s Marches have been positively inspirational. In the ‘70s, I didn’t know what to expect — a bunch of angry hippies with signs? Nope. I was marching next to grandmothers who arrived by the busload, parents worried about their sons, students, hippies (not so angry), and veterans (angrier). Everyone was enthusiastic and willing to express themselves. And all shared a single goal — to end the war.The Women’s March goals are many — gender inequality, human rights and immigration reform, environmental protections, LGBT rights, opposition to misogyny and patriarchy, with a degree of protesting our president (You should see those signs.).The marchers themselves are the chronological reflection of the marchers of the ‘70s. The grandmothers that I marched with then are replaced with grandfathers now (me).Marchers today have kicked the sign-making up a notch; though I did see this, “War is not healthy for children and other living things.” Remember that? (It was the original logo for Another Mother for Peace, founded in 1967.)The biggest differences are that there are a lot more women marching today and the numbers dwarf any of the anti-war protests of the ‘70s. The biggest similarity is citizens of a representative democracy again exercising their right to peacefully protest in opposition to governmental policies that they don’t agree with to effect change. Come to think of it, that’s how this crazy country of ours began.Paul DonahueNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes