Forget new drinks—Starbucks should try adding a new sector, writes John Gapper in the Financial Times: banking. It might sound ridiculous to pair cappuccinos and checking accounts, but Starbucks’ 7,000 branches outstrip Bank of America, and, in Gapper’s plan, it wouldn’t even need tellers. Starbucks could partner with a company like ING, set up an online-only bank, install ATMs, and reap the benefits of increased traffic.
“Starbucks has an affluent clientele that is more likely to consider switching to an online-only bank than the average US consumer,” Gapper writes, figuring on a smooth transition. As a bonus, “the name Starbucks has a nice ring for a US bank,” notes Gapper. “Indeed, it sounds more like a bank than a coffee chain.”