LOS ANGELES — The trickle-down effect of the foreclosure crisis is being felt acutely by coffee-drinkers in the down-and-out Inland Empire, reports Reuters.
When middle-class families were moving into the new tract houses of Riverside and San Bernardino counties a few years back, Starbucks engaged in a massive expansion project, opening stores in new strip-malls catering to the developments. But when the market crashed (Riverside County holds the eighth-highest foreclosure rate in the nation) and people moved out or failed to move in, there was no one to buy caramel macchiatos.
Starbucks announced last year that it was closing 600 U.S. stores, and the Inland Empire was home to a quarter of the 88 California outlets on the closure list (an additional 200 U.S. cafes are slated for closure).
According to Reuters, other stores synonymous with young Inland Empire dwellers are hurting too, like G by Guess and Coach.
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