Starbucks has already been experimenting with beer and wine additions in stores in Chicago and the west coast. The company announced yesterday that they plan on adding beer to as many as 25 stores in southern California and Atlanta by the end of the year. Starbucks hasn’t revealed which Atlanta locations, or what breweries will be sold yet. One would assume they would be looking at local options, right? (Terrapin, SweetWater, Red Brick, Wild Heaven, Monday Night, Red Hare.)
The strategy is part of a broader experiment to find ways to lure Starbucks customers and even non-coffee drinkers into stores during slow periods of the day, especially afternoons and evenings. The trick will be doing it without alienating core customers, said Bill Chidley, a Centerville, Ohio-based senior vice president at Interbrand, a brand consulting firm.
Starbucks profits started slipping in 2008, prior debut the initiative to add beer and wine to some stores. An expanded menu with cheese & bread plates, combined with the addition of beer and wine have put Starbucks stock on the “stocks to watch” list according to Bloomberg.[SFGate]