Starbucks has announced plans to begin selling beer and wine at select locations by the end of the year. Will coffee guzzlers be interested in ordering a venti Chardonnay? The java giant is betting on it.
After piloting the beer and wine concept in Seattle last year, corporate giant, Starbucks has decided to expand its alcoholic offerings to locations in Southern California, Chicago and Atlanta by the end of 2012. The specific stores have not yet been named. In addition to offering a beer and wine menu during evening hours, the coffee houses will also be adding evening specific food items to the menu to go along with the libations. Clarice Turner, the company's senior vice president of U.S. operations, said, "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 cup of coffee or glass of wine."
In an otherwise faltering economy, Starbucks has managed to stay solid and even raised its stock price in the past year, so they seem to be doing something right. From a business standpoint it seems like a smart move since most locations typically do the majority of their business in the morning and afternoon hours, with the evening customers being mostly cramming college students. Adding beer and wine will assumably entice a whole new evening clientele, but will it work?
The concept certainly sounds interesting, especially in a city like Los Angeles where going out for drinks can literally cost an arm and a leg. A relaxing place to hang out and have an affordable drink, where it's acceptable to show up in sweatpants sounds like a dream come true.