there is an Aroma branch in the piazza of the building where i work.
it is currently israel’s largest coffee retailer and has quite a few branches abroad.
israel’s coffee chains have done a great job locally, have been able to kick out starbucks, and have been expanding internationally. Their rise has been greatly due to the economic depression of 2001-2004 post the burst of the dot.com bubble and fall of NASDAQ. it is great to see that some business do well in an economic downturn. the main reason is that people still want to go out and have fun. instead of a restaurant and $30 per person per outing, you can go out, have quality time and spend $10 or less.
during this economic decline (2009), sales of premium wines in the US ($15-$50 per bottle) are up. the reason? again, people want a quality evening. a night at home over a quality bottle costs less that going out!
Aroma is a quality operation. the formula is well defined. the processes are extremely efficient. they are extremely minded to how long you stand in line. so there are not too many choices in the menu. everything is freshly made, including the breads which are baked on premise. yet lines are shorter than at starbuck’s. they do a good job of changing the menu just a little bit every few months. they also promote music and are exclusive distributors to some great records. for example, Arkadi Dochin’s Nekudat mabat (2007 – try song number 2, eifo at ahuva for which i could not find a good youtube link, or Dmyon Chufshi – a great song by churchil, itzhak klepter, later on in his career)
Aroma’s latest innovation, which i think is really cool:
an acer aspire one netbook for you to use while you are in the shop.
netbooks are a great alternative to laptops. i am considering buying one for my kids
and having your own mobile netbook with free wi-fi while drinking coffee is a great alternative to doing emails on you iphone
this is smart marketing and value creation. it costs aroma very little and benefits all of us much more than it costs aroma. how often are we able to do that in our own business?
nice move, aroma