Saying gnome to franchise frenzy

The fight goes on ….

Small protestor

One of Melbourne’s more loveable quirks has been to eschew the pervasive American franchise.

Thankfully Starbucks completely failed in applying its world domination model of setting up on every street corner in Melbourne.  For Starbucks to set up in Lygon St practically next to Brunetti’s is pretty funny. Brunetti’s next amazing shop will now take over the large area dominated by Borders and Norma Jeans Coffee (a US export). Readings bookshop in Lygon St also outlived Borders. Hooray! Why? Because the staff in Readings actually know about books and don’t walk around with walkie-talkies on their heads.

More communities in outer Melbourne are being pretty active in curbing Macca’s ambitions. In Gisborne there was a compromise victory with Maccas setting up in a side street – no golden arches and no signage.

Tecoma residents are going all out – enlisting gnomes and other small members of the community in their fight. But of course Maccas tend to get their way on planning appeals – but you can add your voice at 

Chris Berg’s story on the Starbucks failure makes sober reading for other globalisation behemoths headed this way.

Perhaps the franchise is about to go the other way with Brunetti’s now going international with stores in Dubai and Singapore. (I have taken grown American men into Brunettis to watch them weep.)
As Chris points out Maccas has adapted and survived in various forms internationally – now actually advertising as ‘Maccas’ in Australia – the company needs to adopt the national vernacular as well.

However Starbuck’s recent determination to set up in Montmartre in Paris does literally ‘take the cake’ – I hope their execs went to see Les Miserables because that is how they are going to feel in 12 months time.

4 thoughts on “Saying gnome to franchise frenzy

  1. I’m with you! I had heard, through one of my German commenters on a Brunetti post on my blog, that they’d come across a Brunetti’s in Bremen!! I didn’t believe it, not that I said so. But, your comment that they’ve gone international kinda confirms it. I must go and ask them myself, ‘cos I want to hear it from the horse’s mouth…you understand! I’m also glad that the locals’ voices are being heard re franchised food outlets such as McDonald’s, a business I don’t frequent. It’s about time the customers were considered!


    • They don’t mention that they’ve gone as far as Bremen on their website – maybe they’ve got cousins!
      I hope the Tecoma folk have their way but we have a bit of a pro-development government who override local planners for big players. I think lying down in front of bulldozers may be required. Alternatively the locals will have to vote with their $$ and just refuse to recognise their regime.


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