The New York Times may still be the “paper of record,” but they’re no longer the only national newspaper available at Starbucks. The coffee giant has added USA Today to its 6,500 retails outlets nationwide.
“Consumer news is part of the coffeehouse experience,” said Chris Bruzzo, VP for brand content and online at Starbucks Coffee. “We’re delighted to be able to provide our customers with more selection in how they choose to source their news content and customize their Starbucks experience.”
USA Today had been available at Starbucks until 2000, at which point the Times made an exclusivity deal with the coffee company.
“Starbucks is a lot bigger now, with a lot more stores,” said Larry Lindquist, senior VP of circulation at USA Today about the paper’s reunion with Starbucks. “So it’s more important to us now than it was to us then.”
Putting on their poker face, the Times said they’re just fine and dandy with having a competitor at the ‘Bucks.
“We understand they are adding another newspaper in addition to The New York Times and other local papers, and that’s fine,” a rep for the paper said. “Customers will have more choices, just like they do online and on every newsstand… We have a strong affinity with our readers and believe they will continue to select The New York Times, just as they do now when they have a choice.”
It should be noted that licensed (i.e., not company-owned) Starbucks, which are found mainly in airports and malls, won’t be affected by this. These stores have been free to sell numerous newspapers and were never bound by the Times’ exclusivity deal.