This week Seattle coffee giant Starbucks announced they will soon carry regional beer and wine selections amongst their wide array of java products. This move, as initially attractive as it sounds, is really a move to address two problem issues; decline in market share and the reclusive “evening consumer.”
Like every US corporation, the recent recession has hit Starbucks fairly hard. Be it competition coming from cheaper established foes (Dunkin’ Donuts), up-and-comers (McDonald’s and Burger King) or dark horses (would you believe that 7-11 has decent coffee?), or that in 2008 Starbucks closed 600 “underperforming” US stores, Starbucks had to do something.
Enter the concept of “regional beer and wine.” This does make a lot of sense, even if one does not consider the corporation’s economic situation. Being a socially responsible company, this move could boost sales of regional craft brewers and wineries. Attaching their products to a major chain like this could have the same effect as Starbucks has had for some musicians. That being said, Starbucks is looking to increase revenue past midday. According to TIME, 70% of Starbucks business is before 2pm. Adding this feature, with the local blue laws, might do the trick for this elusive time-demographic if not the overall revenue target. Obviously, time will tell.