One of the world’s largest coffeehouse chains is entering the NFT business and, quite possibly, the metaverse.
While listing some of the near-term plans for the company, Starbucks founder and interim CEO Howard Schultz revealed in a speech Monday that the coffee chain is “going to be in the NFT business” by the end of 2022.
The interim CEO, who led the company for many years till 2017 and is taking up the position again this summer, gave a speech at an Open Forum on April 4 and detailed his vision to “reimagine” its partners’ and customers’ experience. He said:
“If you look at the companies, the brands, the celebrities, the influencers, that are trying to create a digital NFT platform and business, I can’t find one of them that has the treasure trove of assets that Starbucks has from collectibles to the entire heritage of the company.”
“Sometime before the end of this calendar year, we are going to be in the NFT business,” Schultz revealed in his speech, excerpts of which were disclosed by Jordan Zakarin, a reporter at More Perfect Union. An officially released statement by Starbucks also hinted at NFT plans but did not divulge into details.
For those of you praying that I was kidding, here's the video proof.
In an address today aimed at unionizing workers, multi-billionaire Howard Schultz revealed that Starbucks is going to get into the NFT business "sometime before the end of this calendar year" pic.twitter.com/Jb2rGjgHj4
— Jordan Zakarin (@jordanzakarin) April 5, 2022
Multiple foods and beverage brands are working to enter the NFT and metaverse sector. Coca-Cola, Budweiser, McDonald’s, and Burger King are just some of the renowned brands that are ramping up their efforts to offer a metaverse experience to their customers. And now Starbucks has joined the list.
“The third place environment which has been such a foundational aspect of the Starbucks Experience all over the world is now somewhat confined by the fact that people are not using our stores the same way,” He noted, hinting at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its stores.
“And so all those stores that we have that have big lobbies, they may not be as relevant tomorrow as they have been in the past. We have to redefine, redesign our store experience.”