Starbucks is planning to stay ahead in the increasingly crowded coffee business by blurring the lines between supermarkets and coffee shops. The chain, which has been struggling since its days of rapid expansion ended, plans a major push to get more of its products into grocery stores and more supermarket shoppers into its coffee shops, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Chief executive Howard Schultz say Starbucks shops will serve as a testing ground for coffee products destined for the supermarket. "We will reward customers who buy Starbucks products in the grocery store with opportunities to get rewards in our stores and vice versa," Schultz says. "That's a sea change in our ability to integrate these two channels of distribution." He added that Starbucks will open more licensed stores—those you find in Target and supermarkets—than company-owned stores next year.