Photo: By janine1968 on Flickr
Starbucks is just about everywhere in America. Now, it has big plans for one of its other brands too.Bought by Starbucks in 2003, Seattle’s Best Coffee took a big hit when Borders Bookstores went out of business. It lost nearly 475 stores after the liquidation, and about 100 now remain in North America.
But now, it’s aggressively trying new ways to grow, reports Lisa Jennings at Nation’s Restaurant News.
Starbucks says the brand has “billion-dollar” potential, and it has more than 50,000 points of distribution right now (from Subway and Burger King to grocery and convenience stores.)
Here’s a look at what Seattle’s Best is doing:
- There’s a giant upcoming push for Seattle’s Best in convenience stores. For instance, the brand will be in 550 Chevron ExtraMile locations by June. Plus, its packaged offering will be in all 1,300 Kmart retail stores by the end of the year.
- It’s testing out a drive-thru unit in Illinois located in a Walmart parking lot, which will serve as a “learning lab” for potential retail growth.
- Up in Canada, it’s doing store-within-a-store tests with Walmart Supercenters and big box hardware chain Rona.
- Seattle’s Best is also trying out shops in college campuses (Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, USC and more), airports and medical centres.
Starbucks uses the brand to infiltrate places where its flagship brand just doesn’t fit. It’s more of a working-class brand than the trendy, upmarket Starbucks name.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise to see it testing out Seattle’s Best in places where Starbucks can’t go. If the experiments work out, it’s safe to say you’ll be seeing a lot more Seattle’s Best retail spots around — and they won’t be hidden away in bookstores this time.
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