Starbucks is always happy to attract customers to its physical stores, but things are changing for shoppers online as the Seattle-based coffee giant announced this week that it will be shuttering the marketplace where it sells a wide range of products.
A visit to shop.starbucks.com, which has maintained an online presence since 2011, now shows a large banner advertising up to 50 percent off select merchandise. The online store will close for good on Oct. 1, a Starbucks spokesperson confirmed to GeekWire on Friday.
“We’re continuing to invest in amplifying Starbucks as a must-visit destination and are looking across our portfolio to make disciplined, thoughtful decisions,” Starbucks’ Maggie Jantzen said. “This includes doubling down on our digital relationships with our customers to further elevate our digital flywheel through our mobile app and our Starbucks Rewards loyalty program.”
The store sells a wide range of coffee, tea, drinkware, syrups, water bottles, brewing accessories and gift sets. Going forward, Jantzen said that product availability will be shifted to external sites such as Amazon — where more than 20,000 items surface on a search — and the company’s grocery partners.
Jantzen said that “continued integration of digital and mobile customer connections into our store experience is among the highest priorities” for Starbucks.
“To enhance that focus we’ve looked for ways to simplify our current efforts,” Jantzen said. “Frequent customers of the site will be kept up to date on product availability and we’ll continue to offer promotions and specials until that time.”
Starbucks’ latest quarterly earnings call signaled more than ever that the company’s dedication to technology and digital initiatives has become a top priority.
“No traditional brick-and-mortar retailer is better positioned to navigate and flourish in the global retail industry of today or better positioned to lead in the digital retail world of tomorrow,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in July. Johnson will be speaking about the company’s digital initiatives at the GeekWire Summit in October.
In that earnings call, Starbucks Chief Strategy Officer Matt Ryan also detailed “a new generation of digital innovation” coming to the company and how efforts will be made to grow not just Starbucks Rewards, but the total number of people who engage with the coffee giant digitally in any fashion.
Jantzen said that the company is “actively working with the employees whose roles are fully dedicated to supporting Starbucks eCommerce to evaluate opportunities within Starbucks.”