Should Starbucks close its online store?
Starbucks is closing its online e-commerce site that sells coffee, tea, drinkware, syrups, water bottles, brewing accessories and gift sets.
The microsite, shop.starbucks.com, which has been operating since 2011, is currently offering up to 50 percent off on items. The site will close on October 1. The news of the pending closure was revealed by GeekWire and Business Insider.
“We’re continuing to invest in amplifying Starbucks as a must-visit destination and are looking across our portfolio to make disciplined, thoughtful decisions,” said Starbucks’ spokesperson Maggie Jantzen in a statement given to media outlets. “This includes doubling down on our digital relationships with our customers to further elevate our digital flywheel through our mobile app and our Starbucks Rewards loyalty program.”
Products available at shop.starbucks.com will continue to be sold at third-party sites such as Amazon and the company’s grocery partners. Ms. Jantzen added, “Continued integration of these digital and mobile customer connections into our store experience is among the highest priorities for us, and to enhance that focus we’ve looked for ways to simplify our current efforts.”
Starbucks is meanwhile finding fast growth in grocery aisles. In releasing results for its third quarter on July 28, Starbucks officials said its Starbucks K-Cup share increased 1.4 percent to 16.6 percent while its roast and ground share expanded 1 percent to 13 percent.
Starbucks officials vowed on its Investor Day last December to double-down on its “digital flywheel” push with an emphasis on customer acquisition, spend-based rewards, personalized offers and convenient ordering
Matt Ryan, global chief strategy officer for Starbucks, said on the chain’s third-quarter conference call, “Today, we are enabling a new generation of digital innovation that will begin rolling out in waves starting this fall. This fundamental modernization of our technology stack will replace legacy rewards and ordering functionality with the new scalable cloud-based platform for rewards and ordering, improved customer data organization, and tighter integration with store-based operating systems, including inventory and production management.”
- Starbucks Store – Starbucks
- Starbucks closing online merchandise store to focus more on broader digital initiatives – GeekWire
- Starbucks is closing its online store as a ‘seismic shift’ hits the retail industry – Business Insider
- Starbucks Q3 2017 Earnings Call Transcript – Seeking Alpha
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Starbucks come to regret closing its online store? Do you think the closing has more to do with its CPG business, its mobile push or other reasons?