Starbucks to start selling alcohol in outlets by the end of 2012
In an attempt to boost evening sales, Starbucks is planning to sell beer and wine in up to seven new outlets by the end of 2012.
Having already tested outlets - in Washington and Oregon
- with alcohol, savory food and entertainment, Starbucks will be opening the new outlets in the Chicago area. If the idea is successful, it could spread nationwide.
In terms of entertainment, music, poetry readings and theatre have all been introduced as part of the testing.
Starbucks' spokesman Alan Hilowitz, said
: "We're really trying to expand the evening part. Customers have told us they want to be able to come in and have coffee, or a glass of wine."
"They want to sit and relax, and maybe one person wants to have coffee and the other wants beer or wine," he added
"People also can go out after work without having to go to a bar, and people who are underage can go and have a cup of coffee instead."
While some of the outlets will be built from scratch, requiring up to 15 jobs per location, others will be remodeled to fit the planned theme, typically involving around 30 to 50 construction workers.
Starbucks is currently negotiating with local officials to obtain the necessary permits and licenses.