Can Starbucks Be Supersized?

In Bang! we talk about the success of Starbucks being the experience, not the coffee. It’s about a daily indulgence, a little escapism. How else could they get us to spend $3.50 on a cup of coffee, the smallest of which is called a tall, do all the work ourselves and then tip the person behind the counter?

But in an attempt to take a sip out of the extremely lucrative coffee market, Walmart has teamed up with Hollywood image maker Benny Medina (the man behind the early careers of Will Smith, P. Diddy and Jennifer Lopez) to experiment with a Starbucks-style coffee shop in a Texas outpost of the megastore.

Medina’s Kicks Coffee Cafe gives shoppers a low-key atmosphere that’s a dead-ringer for Starbucks. One unique Kicks development is an in-store delivery service, with a Kicks employee taking orders and then delivering coffee to you while you shop. Kicks coffee prices are reportedly 25% lower that that of Starbucks, but can one really escape while at Walmart? Since both companies are giant successes in their respective areas, it will be interesting to see if the Walmart giant is waking up and smelling a new coffee revolution.