Starbucks hasn't traded at a loss in the UK - the company has a huge turnover, and is very profitable.
What it has done is to configure its business model in a way that minimises its tax liability in the UK. It has done that by trading with loans from a source that is difficult to trace, and making huge repayments on those loans from its before-tax revenues. It buys coffee from a company in Switzerland and ships it to another company in Holland for roasting - paying substantial sums along the way.
It's all very complicated, and of course it's perfectly legal - there has been no suggestion that Starbucks has broken the law.
We're living at a time when we are suddenly hearing the word 'moral' a great deal - it comes from our government all the time. What's happening is that as our economy struggles to revive itself we're all feeling the pinch, and we go looking for people to blame. Companies that seek to minmise tax liabilities within the law are ideal candidates - they are big, successful enterprises, so let's brand them as immoral.
The weird thing is, we need lots of big, successful enterprises to help us out of the hole we're in. It's a Bummer, isn't it?
alan14 - the decaffeinated coffee you recommend might be ok , but I like a mug of strong coffee ( with caffeine ) in the morning ...the coffee-machine, on the other hand would fit nicely on my kitchen corner ... cheers for that :o)