sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 28, 2012 04:04 PM
Starbucks has always been good for a pick-me-up in the morning. And now it is aiming to be a good place for a bring-me-down at day’s end.
The coffee chain has been experimenting with serving wine, beer, and small plates of food in select Pacific Northwest locations. Now the practice is getting its first test run elsewhere.
Starting Friday, visitors to its spacious (4,500 square feet) Woodfield location in the Chicago suburb Schaumburg, Ill., will be able to order a glass of wine or beer and warm rosemary cashews, among other things, according to the Chicago Tribune. By year’s end, five more stores in the area will do the same.
The seven stores in the Pacific Northwest that current offer wine and beer have posted double-digit sales increases as part of the chain's new post-4 p.m. "daypart" strategy in select locations, the Tribune reports.
"This concept is trying to deliver the same atmosphere and the same service that everybody's grown to love and expect from Starbucks," said Rachel Antalek, Starbucks director of new concept development (read: non-coffee products), to the newspaper. "We're constantly innovating and trying new things, and this is something our customers have asked us for that in a lot of ways hearkens back to European coffeehouse heritage."
Starbucks is in an experimental mood these days as it is also testing standalone stores for its Tazo tea brand.
New Yorkers, meanwhile, will also be able to order alcohol after 4 p.m. in the in-store Starbucks coming to the $400 million renovation of Macy's flagship in Herald Square, reports New York magazine's Grub Street blog. The so-called "mercantile Starbucks" concept will come in handy when shoppers need a break from perusing the store's other coming attraction: the world's largest women's shoe department.
Customers shouldn’t expect to learn of the new service through advertising. Starbuck’s will simply do some social-media outreach and in-store signage to inform regulars to pop back in for a post-caffeinated break.