American multinational, Starbucks is gearing up to enter the NFT world, announced its interim CEO Howard Schultz. The announcement was made at an Open Forum addressed to a global audience of 15,000 employees, on April 4.
During his speech, Schultz said that he is not a digital native however, the multinational is headed towards adoption of the digital world.
The executive believes that Starbucks would have a lot to offer in the NFT sector stating “If you look at the companies, the brands, the celebrities, the influencers that are trying to create a digital NFT platform and business, I can’t find one of them that has the treasure trove of assets that Starbucks has, from collectibles to the entire heritage of the company.”
Schultz indicated that the company will enter the NFT sector before the end of the calendar year. He says that by going into this sector, the company will be able to improve its customer and working experience.
He hopes that this adoption will prevent the unionization, saying that he wants Starbucks to remain a company “that does not need someone in between us and our people”
Schultz has returned to lead the coffee giant for the third time since its establishment in 1971. Starbucks is currently going through a tumultuous time with the company’s employees voting to unionize across various states in the U.S. They demand better wages and working conditions.
Schultz on his first day back hosted the Open Forum in an attempt to address these issues. Along with declaring the NFT initiative, the billionaire also announced the scraping of the Starbucks share repurchasing program stating:
“Starting immediately, we are suspending our share repurchasing program. This decision will allow us to invest more profit into our people and our stores — the only way to create long-term value for all stakeholders.”
Multiple companies of the food and beverage industry have been paving the way for their entry into the NFT business and the metaverse. Recently, Yum Brands! owned KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell filed for trademark applications for NFTs and NFT related media as well as virtual food and beverages.