Starbucks, the American multinational coffee chain has announced plans to enter the NFT space this year. Howard Schultz, interim CEO of Starbucks said that the company’s NFT ambitions will finally take off in 2022.
Schultz made the announcement after getting back with Starbucks for the third time. This move is primarily driven by the need to restructure the overall experience for employees as well as customers when they are engaging with Starbucks.
Coffee and NFTs, Starbucks eyes digital innovation
As companies of all shapes and sizes continue to focus on digitization, Starbucks is currently working on “digital innovation via NFTs. This is one among many such initiatives Starbucks has in the pipeline and the details will be shortly unveiled in the upcoming weeks.
Schultz said that he expects Starbucks to make an entry into the NFT business in 2022 at the firm’s Open Forum which was held this week.
Shultz said that brands, celebrities, companies, and influencers have expressed great interest in creating a digital NFT platform and business. He further added that until now, he has not seen Starbucks ’ assets being used yet.
He told the workers that he has been studying the business of digital assets. The announcement was a portion of a broader address to workers just a few days after the coffee chain announced that Schultz was returning again as an interim CEO.
Booming NFT marketplace
The NFT marketplace is booming and the numbers speak for themselves. The market took off in 2021 as trading volumes skyrocketed to $17.6 billion from $82 million in 2020 as per a report from Nonfungible.com
Some of the most popular examples include the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection – the CryptoPunk art series.
More about Schultz’s return to Starbucks (again)
Schultz’s third stint begins at a time when the company is walking through the current pandemic which has led to the closure of multiple physical stores worldwide.
Besides, his return comes at a time when a strong unionization climate can be observed across the U.S.
Last week, Schultz suspended the company’s share buyback program. He said that this move will enable it to focus on “people and stores” to create long-term value for the shareholders.
He said that at this point, the firm has to rethink and primarily focus on the experience for the partners. Schultz stressed that it is not only about wages but about the whole atmosphere of the store.
It is very clear that Schultz is on a mission, and that is to redesign and redefine Starbucks’s store experience.
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