Peet’s Coffee and Capital One have worked together to come up with a riveting solution to an emerging problem. The Peet’s Coffee Capital One Cafe is perceived to be the answer to millenials obsession with online banking.
Before we get to the problem, the solution, and the parties involved, you need to know a little about the build-up to the entire drama.
A LITTLE BIT OF BACKGROUND
Intelenet, a global outsourcing company, reported that the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2009 is that 6% of the United States of America’s bank branches have shut down completely.
They further present that 93,283 bank branches were operating at the end of 2015. The number quickly declined to 91,669 at the end of 2016. It represented a 1.73% decrease.
They estimated that the number of open bank branches would decrease by another 20% within 2020. So, some might think that slowly and steadily bank branches will become obsolete. However, it is not the case.
BRANCHES ARE IN HIGH DEMAND
As a 2016 Forbes report suggested, banks spend USD 2 million to USD 4 million to set up and open a new branch. And, running the branch costs between USD 200,000 and USD 400,000.
Generally, the branches require around ten years to attain their maximum potential of generating USD 1 million in profits annually.
Many people attribute the closures to banks adopted by banks. The banks wanted to maximize their profits and cope with the heightened regulations and lower interest rates. Indeed, financial institutions like Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase could surely save a lot of money by closing several branches.
But, in most cases, their customers would not let them do it. Every bank branch has an established customer base, which they continue to serve diligently. But, the banks are also modernizing and introducing newer digital tools to captivate modern customers and compete with new fintech competitors.
While online banking has made life easier, not all customers think highly about it. Many feel that online banking is a risky business that could comprise personal, sensitive information. Whether it is a Peet’s Coffee Capital One Cafe or a regular branch, the need for branches is still there.
THE PROBLEM THAT NEEDS A SOLUTION
As mentioned earlier, the number of branches operated by banks is reducing significantly and steadily. Banks are consistently catering to the demands of customers, who prefer online banking, and those who like to visit the branch to deal with the finances.
Most millennials do not like to visit banks in person. Plus, the formal outlook of the bank may seem intimidating to some people. Branches usually look dull and have CCTV cameras all around the place.
It may seem like people are eavesdropping in your conversations and keeping a close eye on you. Others might not feel confident discussing their financial situations and filling-up auto loan or credit card applications inside the branch.
Other than that, the millennials’ rejection of the traditional banking system, which involves relationship-based branch experience, may come from the complete distrust in the system.
They have witnessed the crash of the financial market in 2008-09. And most of them are riddled with hefty student loans. So, their distrust in financial institutions seems justifiable.
The distrust also indicates that over time the traffic to branches will decrease. As a result, the situation would force many banks to close down branches to reduce costs and maintain profitability. The closures will cause instability in the economy and skyrocket the rates of unemployment in a short period of time.
As it is a major concern for everyone, the companies in the financial services market have been looking forward to discovering a viable solution that will make people go to the branches.
Peet’s Coffee Capital One Cafe came to life to counteract the emerging problem. Capital One signed a partnership agreement with Peet’s Coffee to serve the customers in a unique way.
ALL ABOUT CAPITAL ONE
The American bank holding company Capital One Financial Corporation – popularly known as Capital One – has its headquarters in McLean, Virginia, U.S.A. The company began its journey on July 21, 1994, and it primarily specializes in auto loans, credit cards, banking, and savings accounts.
Over the years, Capital One has acquired ClearXchange, Level Money, Monsoon, Healthcare Financial Services Unit of General Electric, Paribus, etc. These acquisitions, predominantly technological, have assisted the bank in providing better services to its customers. As a result, Capital One has built a reputation as a technology-oriented bank.
Many people attribute Capital One as one of the pioneers behind the nationwide marketing of credit cards in the 1990s. As a result, based on the purchase volume in 2016, Capital One ranked as the fifth-largest credit card issuer in the country.
Presently, the bank operates 725 branches and over 40 cafe-style locations that offer banking services. The latter also involves Peet’s Coffee Capital One Cafe. In addition, the bank has over 70,000+ ATM booths across the country. They also offer online internet banking facilities as well as a top-rated mobile app.
As of December 31, 2020, Capital One has total assets worth USD 421 billion. Therefore, it is the thirteenth-largest bank in the United States of America based on its total assets.
ALL ABOUT PEET’S COFFEE
The coffee store Peet’s Coffee came to life approximately fifty-six years ago. The Dutchman Alfred Peet first introduced the darker roasted Arabica coffee in blends to the people of the United States in 1966.
The German conglomerate, JAB Holding Company, has been the owner of the renowned coffee roaster and retailer known as Peet’s Coffee since 2012. They acquired the entire business by paying USD 977.6 million, which approximately translates to USD 73.50 per share.
After the acquisition by JAB Holding Company, Peet’s Coffee went on a spree of purchases. First, they acquired Mighty Leaf Tea in a partnership with Next World Group in August 2014. It was a specialty tea brand that operated from Bay Arena.
Next, they bought Stumptown Coffee Roasters in October 2015 and turned it into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Peet’s Coffee. In the same month, they purchased the majority stake in Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, which is based in Chicago, Illinois.
Peet’s Coffee also has several licensed partners around the United States in various locations, such as airports, university campuses, etc. It also included the partnership with Capital One, which led to the birth of Peet’s Coffee Capital One Cafe.
Presently, the company has 200 stores across 11 states in the United States, and its coffee is sold in more than 14,000 grocery stores around the nation.
Financially, the company reported USD 983 million in the 2019 financial year. The company also raised USD 2.5 billion on May 29, 2020, when it went public. At that time, Peet’s Coffee was valued at USD 17.3 billion.
PEET’S COFFEE CAPITAL ONE CAFE IS THE SOLUTION
When the partnership between Capital One and Peet’s Coffee was first announced in newspapers, the unique business strategy managed to puzzle countless people. People directed most of the questions at the foundation of the idea, and rightly so. Basically, the frequently asked question was – how could a financial institution expect to gain benefits by opening a cafe?
The concept of a bank-meets-coffeehouse may seem ridiculous at first, but it has merit from a business standpoint. Capital One attempts to create a friendly atmosphere for the customers. As per their market lead Ryan Laudenbach, they consider the cafe to be an educational community hub, where the people can discuss banking and finances while having a cup of coffee.
The Peet’s Coffee Capital One Cafe would have ATMs to ensure that customers could easily withdraw or deposit cash without inconvenience. It is their attempt to regain the trust of the millennials as they move forward towards the unforeseen future. As of 2021, they have more than 40 cafes across the country.
IS PEET’S COFFEE CAPITAL ONE CAFE LUCRATIVE TO CUSTOMERS?
The short answer to this question would be – yes. The Peet’s Coffee Capital One Cafe is a terrific marketing strategy that is actually working. The cafe has Capital One “ambassadors” as its employees, who would direct the customers’ banking-related questions to the bank’s online platform. Once the customers get on the bank’s website, they would quickly find the answers to their queries. The bank is easily establishing a massive physical footprint while it gets to know the community better.
Peet’s Coffee supplies all snacks and beverages to customers in every Peet’s Coffee Capital One Cafe. But, the local bakeries provide the pastries into the cafes. As such, it helps Capital One build its reputation as a community-friendly bank by caring for the local businesses.
Although the name might suggest that you need to be a Capital One cardholder or account holder to enter the cafe, in reality, there is no such prerequisite. Anyone is welcome into the cafe, similar to any other regular coffee shop. But, the only advantage of having a Capital One credit card is that you will get a flat 50% discount on any beverage purchases. They also offer a punch card that makes your every tenth cup totally free.
Apart from the mouth-watering food in the cafe, the setting of the cafe is cozy and comfortable. The cafe is brightly lit thanks to large windows that allow plenty of sunshine to come in. Plus, there are power outlets and free Wi-Fi for all customers. So, you can work in a relaxed atmosphere. They promote a stress-free environment, where the customers can work in peace. In addition, there
Inside the cafe, you will also find ambassadors who will answer your queries and guide you through the bank’s online platform. Of course, most millennials do not like banking in person, but these ambassadors are there to help you if needed. In addition, you do not have to book appointments to get help. Just walk towards one of the many iPads in there, and someone will come forward to help you.
Once you set into Peet’s Coffee Capital One Cafe, you can also book sessions with Capital One’s Money and Life Mentors. It does not matter if you are Capital One’s customer or not; you can gain the benefits of a maximum of three sessions for zero costs. It is absolutely FREE with no hidden charges. You can also take part in money workshops on maximizing money and other financial topics for free. You can get advice on managing money, student debts, wedding costs, etc. As per a Capital One representative, they want to provide financial education to people.
Furthermore, the ambassadors can guide you to open fee-free savings or checking account if you are interested. The entire process takes about five minutes. Overall, it is safe to say that the concept has captivated everyone. The raving Yelp reviews have also helped the purpose of Peet’s Coffee Capital One Cafe.
PEET’S COFFEE CAPITAL ONE CAFE IS VIABLE
Despite the significant decrease in the number of branches that banks are presently operating, you cannot deny the need for it. In most cases, you may have to visit a branch in-person to tackle a problem or to seek advice.
But, the millennials’ growing distrust in financial institutions poses a massive threat to everyone involved in any financial services company. It would significantly reduce job security in the market. Hence, Capital One came up with a brilliant and viable concept to overcome this issue and develop trust and bond with the customers (particularly the millennials).
Peet’s Coffee Capital One Cafe became a reality that most people enjoy. The cafe offers free Wi-fi, many power outlets and other facilities, so that the customers can enjoy a stress-free, peaceful time there.
In addition, they offer financial guidance for those who seek it. While Peet’s Coffee sells the snacks and beverages there, Capital One also gets pastries and other items from local bakeries to help local businesses grow.
So, overall, by adopting such a strategy, Capital One has been able to gain the trust of most people by offering them something new. So, despite what others may think, the idea is viable and effective.