In yet another blow to printed newspapers, Starbucks announced that beginning Sept. 1 they will no longer sell The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or USA Today at its more than 8,600 shops nationwide.
According to the New York Post a source has told them the decision is based in part of a chronic problem with “shrinkage” –retail lingo for lost or stolen goods.
Starbucks has been selling the papers for nearly 20 years starting with the Times in 2000 and adding the Journal and USA Today in 2010. But many customers remove them from the rack, read them while drinking their coffee and either leave them on the table or take it with them without paying.
“Some may have thought it was free, like USA Today in hotels,” said one industry insider.
Starbucks confirmed that the end is near for newspapers.
“As part of our continuous efforts to enhance the overall experience in our stores for both partners and customers, we are removing select fixtures from our retail lobby in September,” a Starbucks spokeswoman said according to the Post.
The company will also be removing other items as it tries to declutter their store.
“In addition to newspaper stands, we will also remove shelving fixtures that display whole- bean coffee and different grab-and-go snacks,” the spokeswoman said.
Starbucks didn’t reveal how many newspapers they sold each day, the papers were disappointed by the decision according to the Post.
“We work with many retail partners to ensure that copies of The Wall Street Journal are available for purchase,” said a spokeswoman for the paper, whose parent, News Corp., also publishes The Post. “While Starbucks made the decision to no longer sell print copies, we are actively discussing other ways that their customers can access WSJ.”
The Times also weighed in on the decision.
“Although disappointed by the decision, we’re confident that given our wide retail distribution, readers will have no trouble finding The New York Times for sale at nearby outlets.”
The papers will probably not be missed by most Starbucks patrons as they can easily obtain their news from their mobile devices, but serves as another example of how print newspapers are slowly dying.