Starbucks Offering $1 Coffee In Seattle

The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, January 23, 2008 11:45 AM
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Starbucks is experimenting with selling an eight-ounce short size cup of coffee for $1 in the Seattle market. It's also testing free refills for traditional-brewed coffee in the area. The "short" isn't on Starbucks's menu, but has long been ordered by in-the-know patrons. Typically, a short would sell for around $1.50, although that can vary by several cents depending on the store.

The $1 test undercuts even low-cost coffee purveyors, including McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts, whose coffees generally start in the low $1-plus range. Although most sit-down restaurants top off customers' coffee free of charge, specialty cafes have largely stayed away from the practice.

Spokeswoman Valerie O'Neil won't elaborate on the specifics of the tests or say how many stores are offering it. She says the tests aren't indicative of any new business strategy.

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