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Starbucks turns to booze

Struggling coffee giant Starbucks will open its first branch selling alcohol next week in the hope of clawing back lost custom following a 77% drop in profit, staff layoffs and store closures.

The new test store, complete with new name ’15th Ave. Coffee and Tea inspired by Starbucks’, will open in Seattle and will serve a small beer and wine selection ranging from $4 to $7.

According to USA Today, two similar stores are scheduled to open in the Seattle area with a view to rolling out the new format stores in other cities too.

Senior project manager at Starbucks, Major Cohen, told the American newspaper: "We’ll be equally as proud of our beer and wine as we are of our coffee."

Selling alcohol is thought to be just one of several new products the coffee house is testing as it battles against a period of difficult trading. Other products on trial are smoothies and drinkable sorbets.

Jane Parkinson, 21.07.09

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