Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) is continuing to offer some holiday cheer at a high price this season. Last week it was a $7 coffee and now it’s a $450 stainless steel gift card.
On Wednesday, the company announced that the limited-edition $400 card (it costs $50 to make and will be loaded at $400) will be good for a store credit and a gold level Starbucks rewards program membership. This includes perks, such as a free drink on your birthday, and either a free drink or food item after purchasing a dozen drinks.
It usually takes 30 transactions per month for customers to achieve gold membership.
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Consumers won’t find the cards at their nearby Starbucks, but instead they’ll need to go to the website Gilt.com on Friday to purchase it. The cards are available for sale at noon ET, until the limited 5,000 quantity are sold.
If you’re a Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) member, on Thursday you’ll have first access to the card on Gilt’s site prior to its public availability on Friday. This is a first for this type of product, both for Gilt and for Starbucks.
Ryan Records, vice president of card and payments at Starbucks, said via USA Today, “Some stores will never even see this card” thanks to its limited supply.
But, similar to other cards that come with an elite value (see the black American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) card) not everyone thinks this card is so great. Cultural anthropologist Robbie Blinkoff said, “This is a card for the 1%. It’s all about status, and to tell you the truth, I don’t know if I’d want to be seen with one of these.”
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) believes they’ll find success with the card. These types follow a growing trend: a love by consumers for gift cards and upper-end exclusivity, according to USA Today. It also comes after the company’s recent introduction of a new pricey 16-ounce, $7 Costa Rica Finca Palmilera coffee.
This also has a limited rollout as it’s only available at 46 Starbucks stores in the Seattle and Portland, Ore., areas.
Maybe this is the start of something new. National Retail Federation vice president of operations Daniel Butler think so and said, “I won’t be at all surprised to see other retailers follow.”
What’s the appeal? It goes back to exclusivity. Jason Goldberger, executive vice president at Gilt.com, suggested as you wait in line at Starbucks, you’ll have the $400 card but the person behind you in line most likely won’t have one. It then begs the question, “What does he have that I don’t?”
Card owners will be able to reload it but don’t worry if you don’t have one, you may be able to pay for your coffee via Square mobile payments.
And if you’re not a coffee fan, these cards may have an appeal to collectors. Keep your eye on these limited-edition cards to show up on eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) for hefty sums commented Records.