May 4 Starbucks Corp said on Thursday
it would expand its loyalty rewards program at grocery stores
to include more products, as it seeks to win more customers amid
a soft retail and restaurant environment in the United States.
The coffee chain's move to more than triple the number of
products it sells under the rewards program comes following
customer backlash after Starbucks overhauled an existing program
Companies have been tweaking their rewards programs in
recent years to make them less-generous to consumers.
Seattle-based Starbucks, which launched its rewards program
in 2009, made changes to it last year, which irked some
customers and caused a furor on social media.
Under the changes, customers earn two "stars" for every $1
spent and need 125 stars to get a free food or drink item, which
meant that some customers would have to spend more money to get
Customers earlier used to receive one star per purchase and
could redeem 12 stars for an item.
Starbucks said on Thursday its U.S. customers could now earn
stars on a wider range of products, sold mainly at grocery
stores, including its K-Cup packs, packaged roast & ground
coffee and multi-serve chilled coffee.
The move from the world's biggest coffee chain also comes
after its warning last month that full-year revenue growth would
be at the lower end of a previously forecast range amid stalling
growth in its U.S. business.
(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai