retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe has a fascinating story about how, when Boston got locked down last Friday as law enforcement officials searched for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, one local chain was allowed - even encouraged - to stay open.

According to the story, officials asked Dunkin' Donuts "to keep some restaurants open in locked-down communities to provide hot coffee and food to police and other emergency workers, including in Watertown, the focus of the search for the bombing suspect." Dunkin’ Donuts, the story says, responded by "providing its products to them for free."

And, the story says, the stores "were serving anyone who came in, whether they were looking for a cup of Joe or a place to charge their phone. In the heart of Boston’s business district, where public transit commuters and travelers became stranded when the T shutdown, that was more than a few.

"Across from South Station Friday, early morning coffee drinkers watched through the windows of a Dunkin’ Donuts as yellow-jacketed, heavily armed Boston police officers patrolled the area. And when a smaller-than-normal lunch crowd started hitting the Dunkin’ Donuts on State Street and Broad around noon, the two employees bustling behind the counter just smiled wider in welcome."

Starbucks, the Globe reports, "shuttered 64 stores once the city went into lockdown," and "it was clear amidst the chaos Friday which was the hometown coffee chain."
KC's View:
I cannot imagine anyone not being emotionally moved by the events in Boston over the weekend, as people streamed onto the streets to thank law enforcement officials, and as fans filled Fenway Park for Saturday's Red Sox game, and were treated to a scene of enormous pride, including Neil Diamond singing "Sweet Caroline" live (the song is played at every game) and David Ortiz giving voice to what every citizen of the city was thinking. (If you haven't seen the clip, check it out on YouTube. It is classic.)

The pundits have it right. Massachusetts is a state of grace, and Boston is its very soul. Over the weekend, against all odds and despite the carnage and emotional baggage, spring became the summer, and good times never seemed so good.