Starbucks Planning to Sell Books and Possibly Digital Content

Posted on May 29, 2006

Starbucks is planning to start selling selected books according to a Marketwatch.com article. MarketWatch also says Starbucks may eventually start selling digital content via wireless Internet access.
Schultz, speaking with media following a speech to the Detroit Economic Club, said the company is looking to branch out to book sales in its stores, much like its move to sell music and promote films. He did not give details on how the company will specifically partner with authors or publishing firms, but said the work of popular authors could be featured. Starbucks has been selling various music collections in its stores and some exclusive albums have won multiple Grammy awards.

In addition, the company could within 12 to 14 months begin offering proprietary content for customers to download via wireless internet connections that are already available in stores. The content would include music or video that could be viewed on a laptop or downloaded to an MP3 audio player. Schultz said customers typically utilize in-store wireless connections to access email accounts, but the executive said the wireless connections are "a unique asset" that can be a bigger revenue generator.
Since the article was published Starbucks has announced plans to sell audio books of The Velveteen Rabbit and The Night Before Christmas. Meryl Streep is the narrator in both of these audio books. The audio books will be available exclusively at Starbucks locations in the U.S. beginning August 29, 2006. If the MarketWatch article was referring to hardcovers or paperbacks then we may have longer to wait before we find out what Starbucks' book selling plans are.