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Starbucks to only serve wine at luxury stores – report

Coffee shop chain Starbucks is to stop selling wine and beer at its stores in the US by ending its ‘Starbucks Evenings’ initiative, but will stock wine at a new range of high-end cafes, according to reports.

Starbucks executives are stopping the ‘Evenings’ initiative in the US and overseas, which saw the coffee giant stay open after hours to serve wine and beer.

The Seattle-based company believes that there is more money in serving food at lunchtime, according to a report in the Seattle Times.

But, Starbucks is planning to stay in wine by stocking bottles at its luxury Roastery stores and high-end Reserve coffee shops, which are set for expansion.

Starbucks first announced that it would start selling wine at a few of its branches close to its headquarters in Seattle in July 2009, as part of plans to turn around the ailing business and to expand its appeal beyond the morning coffee rush.

After that initial trial, the company extended the programme across the country and also included food and beer as part of the ‘Starbucks Evenings’ concept.

The programme has since expanded to include more than 400 Starbucks stores across the US, as well as overseas.

In 2014, Starbucks said it would roll out alcohol sales to ‘thousands’ of its stores, but now plans to integrate beer and wine into its high-end retail outlets, such as its Roastery and Reserve stores.

At a recent investor conference, Starbucks said it would open a Roastery store in Shanghai in 2017, and then ones in New York and Tokyo in 2018. It added that it plans to have Starbucks ‘Reserve’ coffee bars in 20% of its total stores by 2021.

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