Starbucks to expand selling wine, beer in U.S.
The new beverage offerings are part of a larger rebranding process the company is engaging.
Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 04:27 PM
LOS ANGELES — Starbucks is to start selling wine and beer in some stores in southern California and Atlanta, Georgia, expanding a move which has worked well around its northwest U.S. base, the coffee giant said Jan. 23.
The Seattle-based global coffee shop franchise said it will also sell "premium food offerings" as part of the expansion to cater for customers into the evening, which also involves a number of its outlets in Chicago.
The move "is a natural progression for us as we are always looking for ways to evolve and enhance the Starbucks experience based on what our customers are telling us," said U.S. vice president Clarice Turner.
"We're pleased with the response of our customers to the introduction of wine, beer and premium food at several of our stores in the Pacific Northwest, and we're excited to see how the idea translates to other markets."
Evening opening hours were was first tried out in Seattle in October 2010, while five stores in the Seattle area and one in Portland, Oregon currently serve wine, beer and premium food.
Late last year, Starbucks announced plans to bring the concept to locations in the Chicago area by the end of 2012. Atlanta and Southern California will each see four to six stores, also by the end of the year.
The new premium food will include savory snacks, small plates, and hot flatbreads, while the wine and beer list will be "hand-selected to reflect local customer tastes and preferences, and will be refined over time."
"As our customers transition from work to home, many are looking for a warm and inviting place to unwind and connect with the people they care about," said Turner.
"At select stores where it is relevant for the neighborhood, we are focused on creating an atmosphere where our customers can relax with a friend, a small bite to eat and a cup of coffee or glass of wine."
The move comes a year after Starbucks unveiled a new logo designed to conquer new markets.
The old ubiquitous logo — a deep green ring emblazoned with "Starbucks Coffee," encircling a black-and-white siren — was replaced by a circular image of the green and white siren, with no mention of coffee or the company.
Copyright 2012 AFP American Edition