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Wireless charging now available at Starbucks

By Retail Technology | Monday June 16 2014

Starbucks has made wireless charging available to customers in the San Franciso Bay Area, with initial European and Asian pilots expected within the year

A national roll-out of wireless charging technology is on the cards for coffee giant Starbucks

The company has started to make Duracell Powermat wireless charging available to customers visiting stores in the San Francisco Bay Area and Boston. The company plans to extend the technology to additional markets in 2015. Initial pilots in Europe and Asia are expected within the year.

Stores will be equipped with designated areas on tables and counters where customers can place their compatible device and charge wirelessly.  Select Starbucks stores in Boston and San Jose offer this technology today and a full national rollout in Starbucks company-operated stores and Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bars is also planned over time. The broader roll-out can be tracked online.

Great customer response

“From WiFi and the in-store Starbucks Digital Network to mobile payment and digital music downloads, we have always tried to anticipate our customers’ needs early in the adoption curve", said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks.

"Rather than hunting around for an available power outlet, they can seamlessly charge their device while enjoying their favourite food or beverage right in our stores. We were pleased with the customer response to the pilot tests, and we’re now expanding this offering nationally.”

“Starbucks is transforming the way consumers get power to their phones, in much the same way it made WiFi a standard amenity in public places,” said Stassi Anastassov, president of Duracell at Procter & Gamble. “When Starbucks introduced WiFi in their stores in 2001, 95% of devices didn’t have WiFi and multiple standards hampered the industry. The rest is history.”

In-store charging on the rise

This news further illustrates a current trend of retailers offering in-store charging facilities. In the UK, John Lewis announced it was piloting the roll-out of wired and secured mobile device charging points available to its customers from the end of 2013.

Equipped with a variety of cables, the service enables shoppers to locate the correct one for their phone or tablet in order to connect their device and lock it safely inside an individual unit while they shop. After 30 minutes, charging stops and the device remains securely locked until the owner returns with the key to release it.

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