Starbucks, which started selling music through its outlets last year, is taking its concept of offering customers entertainment with their coffee a step further with a plan to promote films and sell DVDs and books....
The final part of the strategy to move into the entertainment world is to put books on sale later this year, either through a partnership with an existing publishing house or by printing books itself.
So America's favorite drug dealer is going into the book (or at least, the bookselling) business. This is wicked good news. I've already bought CDs from Starbucks, and now I'll be able to buy books, too. I'm delighted by the prospect not just because there can never be too many bookstores in my world, but because purchasing other items when I go in for my cafe latte mitigates some of the guilt I feel about paying so much for a shot of espresso buried under foamy 2% milk. I think the tall cup I always buy is about $3.50, but I'm not sure because I never allow myself to look at the board behind the counter.
Howard Schultz, the chairman of Starbucks, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal: "Starbucks isn't an entertainment company. But we want to have an entertainment strategy that supports the foundation of the coffee experience that our customers have come to expect and enjoy."
The foundation of the coffee experience? How much caffeine has this guy had?
Maybe if I try to think of that $3.50 (or whatever) as being spent on a coffee experience rather than just a satisfying hot beverage, I won't feel so guilty. It's not just caffeine anymore, it's entertainment. Right?
Barista, set 'em up again!