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Got the following email from Starbucks yesterday:

"Today, Starbucks announced the expansion of its popular loyalty program, My Starbucks Rewards, into grocery channels.

"Starting this May, customers will be able to earn a Star in the My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program by purchasing specially-marked Starbucks packaged coffee in the grocery aisle. Those Stars can be redeemed for free food and/or beverages in Starbucks retail stores.

"This expansion includes all specially-marked Starbucks packaged coffee, both whole bean and ground, sold in the aisle across grocery, drug, mass and club channels.  Customers can enter the unique code from specially-marked packaged coffee online at to earn Stars in their My Starbucks Rewards™ account.

"First introduced in December 2009, My Starbucks Rewards™ is a personalized loyalty card program that provides members personalized rewards that increase with frequency of use. In addition to perks earned through purchases, My Starbucks Rewards™ offers customers personalized benefits, such as a free beverage (or food item) on their birthday, as well as special offers. Presently, there are 6.04 million active My Starbucks Rewards™ members in the U.S."
KC's View:
I got this email because I'm a member of the program, and regularly get rewarded for my coffee purchases with free coffee. When you drink as much coffee as I do, that's a good thing.

And I think this is a very smart thing for Starbucks to do as it tries to maintain consumer fealty. And build its database about what customers are buying and want. (Remember ... in the 21st century, it is the company that has the most actionable information and then acts on it that has the greatest business advantage.)

But one thing I did note is that while Starbucks may be rewarding customers for bagged coffee purchases made in supermarkets, it does not seem to be rewarding me (and others, I presume) for the coffee I buy via the company's own website. In fact, not only do I buy the coffee online, but I have a subscription - two pounds of coffee every month. I think that maybe the company needs to consider that people like me are among their most loyal customers, and extend the loyalty benefits to us as well.

This isn't just me looking for more benefits. (Okay. It is that, a little bit.) But it also is a bit of a lesson for retailers - that you have to look at the big picture (to steal the title of a book I read once) and consider all venues.