USA TODAY recently released an article announcing Starbucks plan to serve beer and wine at retail locations. Over the next several years, thousands of Starbucks stores all across the country will offer alcoholic beverages. The offering seems like a great move for a coffee chain whose locations stay busy through the morning but trail off into the late afternoon. Offering alcoholic beverages will certainly drive more customers during the “happy hours” of the evening. Also, having a place to grab a cold micro-brew with free Wi-Fi and a table provides an alternative space to meeting in a bar.
I imagine there will be a greater sense of community at my local Starbucks as regulars congregate in the evenings. With the busy day coming to an end and the requirement to drink alcoholic beverages in store, it provides for a chance to sit down, enjoy, and talk with others rather than the grab and go experience of the morning.
Are you suddenly craving a white chocolate truffle espresso martini? Not so fast! Starbucks has no plans of selling alcohol beyond beer and wine in retail locations. While that may be disappointing to some, it’s probably a smart move on their part. Let’s all watch as Starbuck’s market share grows as they find ways to increase average ticket spend with their new found “happy hour” loyalists.