Giant closes more Starbucks kiosks in Md., Va.

April 08, 2010|By Andrea K. Walker | andrea.walker@baltsun.com

Giant Food discovered that not everybody wants to sip a latte or chai tea while they shop for groceries.

The Landover-based chain and largest supermarket in the region said it has closed nine Starbucks outlets in Giant grocery stores in Maryland and Virginia. The closings were completed between Feb. 22 and March 31. The grocer still operates 12 Starbucks locations.

A spokeswoman said the grocer closed Starbucks kiosks that weren't profitable and didn't appear as if they would be profitable in the future. The grocer worked in conjunction with Starbucks Corp. to decide which to close. Automated coffee kiosks by Van Houtte, a gourmet coffee distributor, were put in place of the Starbucks stands.

The closings were in addition to 17 other Starbucks that were shuttered in August and September.

Some shoppers commenting on The Baltimore Sun's Consuming Interests blog noted that Starbucks might have opened too many outlets. Belle Owens, who shops at a Giant on York Road, said the Starbucks kiosks seemed to be more expensive than nearby cafes.

"It was more expensive inside Giant when there is a Starbucks store at the same complex," she said.

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