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Posts tagged: Starbucks

Starbucks will start offering wireless phone-charging in its stores

Found this on NW tech blog TakesonTech:

Starbucks is preparing to offer wireless phone-charging stations at its coffee shops. But don't get too excited; it won't start happening until next year for most stores in this area.

Starbucks has been testing the technology across the Bay Area and parts of Boston. The initial rollout is occurring in Boston.

Starbucks is working with Powermat and Duracell, which use the inductive charging standard developed by the Power Matters Alliance. Some phones in the market use the PMA standard for charging, but many do not. Powermat and Duracell make a wide array of sleeves and other accessories for devices that don’t support wireless charging on their own.

Powermat will provide the backend technology needed for Starbucks to build the wireless charging stations into its stores, as well as tools to help customers figure out if their phones are compatible or not.

Starbucks estimates it will add about a dozen wireless charging stations to each of its 7,500 locations in the U.S. Many of the deployments won’t take place until 2015.

Right now, the tech works with a limited number of smartphones. Owners of other devices will have to have a special case, costing about $20 to $30, in order to work with the wireless charging system.

Free tall coffee offered at all area Starbucks on the Fourth of July

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz decided to get patriotic this past week, announcing in Sunday newspaper ads that he wants Americans to get together and be more civil.

In the ad, titled “How Can America Win this Election,” Schultz said it's time for people to sit down and be engaged in making this country strong again.

He's doing his part, offering a free tall coffee in all corporate Starbucks locations across the country. (Probably doesn't apply in the franchise stores inside malls or airports.)

Schultz said that “there is something wrong” with America and “the deficits this country must reconcile are much more than financial, and our inability to solve our own problems is sapping our national spirit.

“In 2012 America needs to win the election more than either party does. It is time now to join together as Americans. It is time, whatever our differences, for us to strive and succeed as one nation-indivisible,” Schultz wrote in the ad that said coffee will be free on July 4, “to spark the conversation in our stores.”

Starbucks opening Evolution Fresh juice store

SEATTLE — Starbucks Corp. is pushing beyond coffee with the opening of the first Evolution Fresh Inc. juice store, the company said today.

Starbucks, which is looking for new businesses for growth, purchased the California-based juice maker in November for $30 million. Evolution Fresh had been selling its juices in grocery stores such as Whole Foods groceries. The first Evolution Fresh store is in Bellevue, Wash.

Aside from juices, Starbucks says Evolution Fresh shops will have wraps, soups, salads, vegetarian and vegan options and other offerings, the Associated Press reports.

Evolution Fresh, started by Naked Juice founder Jimmy Rosenberg, is one of the few larger juice companies that still cracks, peels, presses and squeezes its own fruits and vegetables rather than using pureed or powdered ingredients. It also uses a process called high-pressure pasteurization to make the juice without heating it.

One third of our survey-takers said they’ll spend more at Starbucks during 2012

The unofficial results are in: one third of the respondents to our Starbucks budget survey said they expect to spend more there this year.

Five of 16 respondents said yes, and you can see the other responses for yourself right here.

Thanks to those who helped answer the survey.  Gotta leave for now, I'm off for my morning cup …

The buzz: Starbucks coffee cards are a solid bottom-line pick me up

WHAT'S YOUR STARBUCKS BUDGET? ANSWER THE SURVEY BELOW

For much of the past three years, the Office Hours staff has made its daily visits to the local Starbucks store, plunking down cash for java and pastry. Sometimes the experience is more about meeting folks from area businesses, rather than the Joe.

The Wall Street Journal's story Tuesday on Starbucks highlights the chain's surprising growth in amount of money spent via card-based purchases. A key statement:

“Last year, purchases made on the (Starbucks) cards accounted for 18 percent of the company's revenue. Starbucks doesn't split the transactions by country, but assuming purchases were almost all in the United States, they accounted for 27 percent of domestic retail sales. That compares with 13 percent in 2006.”

What could be driving that growth, especially as the company has been steadily increasing the costs of its drinks the past four years?  Please take this informal survey below. (Click SUBMIT after checking your answer.)

 

Starbucks to raise prices in certain regions

Starbucks is raising some prices regionally as it faces tough competition and rising ingredient costs.

The Seattle coffee chain is raising prices about 1 percent in the Northeast and Sunbelt regions. Starbucks won’t disclose all of the states its raising prices, but the regions include New York, Washington, D.C., and most Southern states excluding California and Florida.

Other cities where it will raise prices include Boston, Atlanta, Dallas and Albuquerque, N.M.

The price for a “tall” coffee will go up 10 cents in the regions. But beverages that are “grande,” the next size up, won’t change.

Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson says the prices reflect competition in certain markets and higher costs for coffee, fuel, and other commodities.

The last across-the-board price increase was in 2007.

Starbucks is closing some New York City public restrooms, due to heavy use

Starbucks is a very generous company, even during the holiday season (especially in the holiday season).

But generosity has its limits.

The Seattle-based coffee retailer said it's closing some of its bathrooms in many of its Manhattan stores.

The New York Post flushed out the story, noting “When you gotta go, don’t count on going at Starbucks.”

Its story noted the company is closing bathrooms because many of its workers are having to wait in line since customers are using the johns. The solution is converting public bathrooms to employee-only rooms.

Some Starbucks won't make the shift, leaving users or out-of-towners with a guessing game to find stores with a public restroom.
 
The Post also said it tried to get a comment from Starbucks headquarters but was unsuccessful.

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