(SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE) Starbucks, the world's largest coffee-shop chain, will sell beer and wine at more locations to lure customers during the slower afternoon and evening hours.
The chain, which first served alcohol in October 2010 at a Seattle store, will sell beer and wine in as many as 25 locations by the end of this year, the company said.
Stores in Chicago, Atlanta and Southern California are among the new locations.
The specific stores have been "carefully selected" and are larger and have more seating than regular Starbucks sites, Clarice Turner, senior vice president of U.S. operations, said in an interview today.
Starbucks also is selling fruit-and- cheese plates and focaccia with olive oil in those stores, said Turner. However, turner also said the company isn't considering the concept for the whole chain.
At the six stores that now sell alcohol in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, beer is $5 and glasses of wine are $7 to $9.
"They have plenty of business in the morning," Sara Senatore, a New York-based analyst said in an interview. But Starbucks isn't making full use of its workers and real estate in the later part of the day, she said.
Selling alcohol probably won't hurt profit at Starbucks, Senatore said. Most alcoholic beverages have about a 75 percent margin, which is comparable to coffee drinks, she said.
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