Unless you’ve been surfing Starbucks.com recently, you may not have noticed that something is missing — its online store. The Seattle-based coffee chain shut down its virtual shop on Sunday, citing a desire to focus on the customer experience in physical stores.
The online store sold the company’s coffee as well as merchandise like travel mugs, espresso machines, and other brewing tools. Starbucks says some products all now be available in stores, but it cannot guarantee availability.
Starbucks says the move is part of an effort to “simplify” the company’s sales channels, while working on the in-store experience instead.
“We’re continuing to invest in amplifying Starbucks as a must-visit destination and are looking across our portfolio to make disciplined, thoughtful decisions,” a Starbucks spokesperson told The New York Times.
This might not be a surprise to customers who were paying attention, however: Starbucks posted a note online at the end of August telling customers that the end was nigh.
And if the plan to “simplify” sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because that’s the name of one of two hashtagged initiatives reportedly launched by Starbucks back in March, #Simplify and #20More. The former is meant to smooth operations behind the counter and get orders to customers faster, while the latter is a push to serve 20 more people daily.