While many don’t consider Starbucks retail, but rather QSR (Quick Serve Restaurant), you can’t argue with their success. Many retailers try to emulate Apple Stores, the most successful retail store by sales per square foot, but it is Starbucks they should be following. Walk into Starbucks, no matter what time of day or location, there are customers patiently waiting for their order. This is even more amazing when you consider that consumers have access to coffee everywhere, especially with the introduction of pod machines like Tassimo and Keurig. However, the one thing that these machines can’t replicate is the coffee experience. Coffee has become social and personal, we meet our friends and colleagues over coffee, we bring our laptops and do work, and we put names on our cups, so long before online stores changed the way we shop, Starbucks changed the way we have coffee. Starbucks keeps evolving, and coffee is only a part of their expanding menu. They have also opened an Express Store and recently launched an order ahead App. Starbucks’s understands that the consumer is evolving and to stay relevant, they must evolve.
So what does Starbucks have to do with Best Buy? There is no secret that Best Buy has been struggling over the last few years with heavy competition in the electronics world both online and retail. This contributed to the sudden closing of Furtureshop in Canada. The advantage that Starbucks has, even over Apple, is daily returning customers. So how inconceivable would it be to expand these locations and create a digital lounge to introduce and experience new technology? Consumers could order their coffee, test the latest tablet, or relax in the lounge watching the latest 4K TV with the hottest new headphones. All the products could be connected online, and with the simple tap of your digital wallet, delivered to your home or your favorite Starbucks location.
Starbucks really doesn’t have to buy Best Buy to make this happen, they could easily partner with Amazon or directly with brands and create a pop-up space. Whomever partners with them would have a retail face with access to 20,000 plus location worldwide.