Even though Starbucks announced that it will be raising its prices next Tuesday, keep calm, it could even be for the better. The coffee giant has been in the news a lot recently as they have made major changes to the way that their company takes care of its employees, as well as special new features being added to their stores, which customers will not be able to get anywhere else. These features alone should be a legitimate reason, if being applied the world over, for the company to move forward with a 5 to 20 cent increase in the prices for their drinks. It is a common opinion already that the companies’ prices are too high. Perhaps now Starbucks may have a good reason for it.
Mostly recently Starbucks announced that they are planning to roll out charging stations in their stores. Beginning with San Francisco Bay Area, Starbucks will supply “Powermat Spots” throughout their shops, and continue to expand this new service to other major metropolitan cities. However, charging capabilities may be limited to only a few customers. The standard for wireless power, and wireless charging, is not exactly harmonious. There are actually a couple different wireless standards, which currently are incompatible with each other. Samsung and chip maker Qualcomm are backing a group called A4WP (Alliance for Wireless Power), who is supporting the standard called Rezence. The major standard being used by Starbucks, however, is one created by the PMA (Power Matters Alliance), who are partners with Duracell Powermat. In February of this year, PMA and the A4WP signed a deal that they would work out a way to make their wireless standards more compatible. This is only one of the reasons that Starbucks price hike could be a change for the better.
Another reason is one that was also recently in the news. Starbucks is now offering to pay for part of the tuition for its baristas to take online classes from Arizona State University. When all the calculations are finished, Starbucks winds up getting a bill for $13,585 per person. That is no small chunk of change. A condition attached to that service, however, is that junior and senior baristas are required to graduate in order to receive the tuition reimbursement from Starbucks. If the company continues to offer these kind of services, then it can also be expected to raise its prices in order to cover them. That is not factoring in the price of expansion, should Starbucks plans on expanding these college tuition services.
Also, considering the $70 USD price for a three space Duracell Powermat, should give at least an idea of the price range Starbucks will most likely be paying per unit. So next time someone is standing in line waiting for their Iced Hazelnut Macchiato, maybe they will stick around for a little while because the person serving them is not having such a bad day. Or maybe their drink will feel more worth it because it helps to pay for the unlimited charging of their devices. Perhaps they might think the Starbucks price hike made things a little better. Maybe they might even hang out and buy more coffee.
Opinion By Phillip Schmidt