Third Place + Wine

When I first heard a while back that Starbucks was testing serving wine in its stores, I didn’t think much of it.

When I read today that they were expanding this test, the value proposition suddenly occurred to me.

Before, I was  stuck on Starbucks as a coffee company.  But, they also have another business — providing comfortable space for folks to sit and chat, read or surf the net.  They call it the third place.  It’s not your home or business, but it’s close.

I suddenly thought about the times when I’ve been out with friends, family or business associates and we wanted to catch up over a glass of wine or beer, but we didn’t want a noisy, or empty, bar.  And we didn’t really want to sit at restaurant where everybody else is eating.  We struggled to find a place to go.  Often we settled for picking up some bottles of wine at a grocery store and heading home or going to bar.  Neither was ideal.

Sipping some wine at Starbucks would be the perfect place for that.

I also thought about the times when I’m on the road — be it for business or vacation.  It would be nice to have a low-key place to grab night-cap, catch up on emails (and blogs) and do some mild people watching.

I can see how this fills a nice niche for consumers.  I hope their tests work.

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