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The Case For Coffee

Exploring the phenomenon of bookstore cafés.

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The Association Between Books and Coffee

When you see an artfully done Instagram photo of someone reading a novel in a bookstore, the image itself often includes a cup of coffee or tea. Much like cat guardians, it is becoming a more common phenomenon for a bookstore to also operate a café. Just within Charlotte, there are several bookstores that serve your favorite latte while you search around for a book to read.

The Business Decision

One way that selling drinks and light snacks can benefit a bookstore is that it can bring in patrons that wouldn’t have otherwise made it through the doors. Not everyone is going to go into a bookstore every time that they see one, but if they see an advertisement for a handmade chocolate croissant for a fraction of the cost of a Starbucks muffin then they might be more willing to stick around after ordering to see what else the store offers. Having something to drink could also encourage shoppers to linger while finishing their coffee, which could affect how likely they are to purchase the novel that caught their eye while they were browsing.

Coffee vs. Cats

In the Charlotte area, it is unlikely to see a store that has both coffee shops and cats inside. Both could cause damage to inventory with spilled mochas and Mochas that play the “let’s see how many things I can knock from the shelves” game, and so bookstore owners need to ensure that their additions attract business more than they deplete the stock. Having a cat or café could be a major draw for some patrons if they are introduced to the environment correctly.

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