Starbucks To Buy Fancy Coffee Machine Maker, Add Reward Program

Things are still changing at Starbucks. First off, they’re going to buy the maker of “Clover” the crazy $11,000 coffee machine that makes one cup at a time.

Starbucks, the world’s largest chain of coffee shops, also said today it would acquire Coffee Equipment Co., the maker of the $11,000 Clover machines that brew one cup of coffee at a time. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

“You have an economy that really is in a tailspin, and many would say the consumer is in a recession,” Schultz told more than 6,000 shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Seattle. “We are dealing with things that we haven’t seen before in terms of how people are responding to how tough it is.”

Secondly, they’ve announced a rewards program:

Customers will be able to get free syrup or milk alternatives for their drinks, or free refills on brewed coffee, if they use their Starbucks card.

“Register your card and we will customize your beverage basically for free,” Schultz said.

Does the idea of a rewards program appeal to you? Or no?

Starbucks Chief Doesn’t See U.S. Economy Improving (Update2) [Bloomberg]
(Photo:Ben Popken)