What Starbucks Doesn’t Sell

By Mike Maddaloni on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 04:00 AM with 7 comments

As a Starbucks frequent customer - and shareholder - I am not looking to jump on the “bash the ‘bucks” bandwagon. However on some recent trips to the coffee cafe giant, I thought about a few things they should add to their mix of products, things that would be a true win-win between Starbucks and its customers. These things could help Caribou Coffee or any local coffee shop as well.

In no particular order:

Printing – There is no shortage of computing power in a Starbucks, but no place to print something. A setup similar to a hotel where you connect to their central printer could help when people really need a hard copy of something.

Books – Where there may be newspapers for sale, why not books. They sell CDs, why not a selection of books for those who come by and have nothing to read.

MP3 Players – How about a Starbucks-branded iPod loaded with a selection of songs?

Cable Locks – The last I checked, most people don’t secure their computers when at a coffee shop. Maybe its because there’s nothing to secure them too? Yea, there would be a need for cutting holes in tables and reinforcing them with steel to make some money off from cables.

Travel Mugs to Match the Sizes of Coffee Sold – Starbucks is all about its Tall, Grande and Venti, but what size is the travel mugs they sell? Come up with 3 sizes, or one with marks for each size, and you’ll probably reduce the paper waste in your stores.

Networking – Just looking around your average Starbucks you find an eclectic looking group of customers, but who are they? It could be as easy as a chalkboard on the wall where people can sign in if they desire, from which people can seek out others to chat, network or collaborate with. It’s common knowledge that entrepreneurs meet at coffee shops; what if these same places could be the catalysts for new ventures?

These are just a few thoughts that come to mind. Do you have any others? If so, please join the conversation and post a comment!

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