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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Drink: Starbucks Happy Hour(s).

The Coffee super giant, has been struggling with strategy formulations to help stores maintain a steady flow of traffic. It seems, and this will come as a shock, that the busiest time of day for any Starbucks venue is the morning shift: predominantly between 6am and 10am.

 Demand for coffee beverages will spike throughout the day, and often in response to social/community activities. (Yes the day after a societal celebration, coffee sales will increase.)  The afternoon and evening rush of Starbucks stores has never really steeped. For some strange reason, unknown to myself, customers don't typically like to drink coffee in the evening.

To fight evening lulls, and threats of after work beverage substitution Starbucks has been toying with the idea of wine and beer sales. By years end, Starbucks will have a wine and beer menu at a projected 25 stores in the US.

Starbucks piloted the project in Seattle WA, and Portland OR. The pricing strategy of the wine and beer is in consistency with coffee prices. A Starbucks beer starts at $5, and a wine at $7. Unfortunately for drink customizers, Starbucks will have a no-modification policy on alcoholic beverages. You will be able to order, a grande Pinot Noir; not a grande half pinot, half chardonnay, on ice blended.

Personally, I'm excited for the shenanigans of artistic drunks "working" at a Starbucks near me. Actual tormented writers will take to the bottle and complementary wi-fi as they penned newly minted memoirs. The artisan nachos, a fab compliment to the Broadway worthy and inspiring public meltdowns of the literary geniuses.

Look for new vino friendly Starbucks' coming to Chicago, Southern California, and Atlanta by summer; with east coast expansion planned for the fall.

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