(Updated with additional details and background information.)
Starbucks is looking to start selling regional wine and beer, and a selection of local cheeses served on China tableware.
The expanded offerings are aimed at transforming its stores into more of an all-day café. Starbucks already outfitted several locations, including one on Olive Way in its hometown Seattle's Capitol Hill area. The test store's barista bar was rebuilt so customers can sit at and around it, conversing with the baristas and watching them prepare drinks, much like customers at a traditional bar would do.
The new store was designed to look like it had been a part of the neighborhood for years, with a "green" design and sustainability-minded décor. "It's the biggest undertaking of design of any retailer in the world," Arthur Rubinfeld, global development chief at Starbucks, told USA Today. All new Starbucks-owned stores will be LEED certified, approved by the internationally recognized green building certification system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. If the refurbished location proves successful, Starbucks could make moves to expand the updated concept to other Starbucks locations, according to the newspaper report. It could also help Starbucks tap into the afternoon and evening markets of store traffic, where a customer may come in for a $4 cup of coffee on the way to work in the morning, then stop back for a $9 glass of wine and a cheese plate on the way home. About 70% of all Starbucks business happens before 2 p.m.
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