Starbucks plans expansion onto supermarket shelves

by Carl Natale on August 24, 2010

Starbucks is looking to add more products to supermarket shelves.

Finding new ways to grow is critical for Starbucks, which struggled in recent years after a strategy of growing by rapidly opening new stores had run its course. When the economy turned sour and many consumers could no longer afford pricey coffee drinks, Starbucks retrenched, closing hundreds of stores, cutting costs and focusing on making its existing stores run more efficiently.

via For Starbucks, a New Retail Mix –

It’s a tricky strategy. Can Starbucks sell products in supermarkets while keeping the mojo that enables it to charge premium prices.

But it has to do it.

[CEO Howard] Schultz says the coffee shops will remain the core of the company’s business. But at a time when rapidly opening new stores in the U.S. is no longer possible, Starbucks, like other retailers, is trying to do more with what it has.

There’s some interesting strategy going on here that’s worth watching.

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