Starbucks Expands to Include Alcohol Sales

Mike TuttleBusiness2 Comments

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First an Oprah-branded chai ... now this.

Starbucks, the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain, recently announced that they will rolling out alcohol sales, as well as a "light bites" menu, to more of their 11,500 U.S. stores in the next few years.

The evening menu will include items such as truffle macaroni and cheese, chicken skewers, wine, and chocolate fondue.

40 of the stores owned by the company (SBUX) have already expanded to this new menu, including areas in Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, and Southern California. But now Troy Alstead, Chief Operating Officer, is ready to move on.

"We've tested it long enough in enough markets -- this is a program that works," he told The Chicago Tribune. "As we bring the evening program to stores, there's a meaningful increase in sales during that time of the day."

The company's plan is to double its market value to $100 billion.

Howard Shultz, after returning as CEO in 2008, has proven so far that numbers like that can be possible. Since his return, stock prices have risen 300% and shares are up 60%.

Along with the "booze" sales, SBUX is expanding on the mobile application and loyalty program, which Shultz is primarily focusing on now after handing the day-to-day operations over to Alstead.

With mobile payments accounting for 14 percent of in-store transactions, mobile is proving to be very important.

Peter Saleh, a New York-based analyst at Telsey Advisory Group, said, "The companies that are taking share are the companies that have some mobile, digital platform -- Papa John’s, Domino’s, Starbucks, Dunkin'."

Last year SBUX also bought Teavana Holidngs, Inc. in order to expand and open 20 new tea bars in cities including Chicago and Los Angeles.

The Starbucks locations that will most likely expand to include alcohol sales are those near restaurants, movie theaters, popular nightlife locations, and other urban areas.

Coffee in the morning. Wine at night. Now that is a business plan that catches our attention, Mr. Shultz.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Mike Tuttle
Writer. Google+ Writer for WebProNews.

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