Starbucks is getting into the ‘NFT business,’ according to Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz. (GeekWire Photograph / Kevin Lisota)

Frappuccinos, pumpkin spice lattes, and now … NFTs?

Indeed, Starbucks is apparently receiving into the earth of NFTs.

Which is the word from Howard Schultz, who is working the Seattle coffee giant as interim CEO right after Kevin Johnson officially transitioned from the top rated position Monday.

Schultz, who led the firm for more than two a long time before handing the CEO reins to Johnson in 2017, held a city corridor assembly Monday in which he reportedly reported that Starbucks was “going to be in the NFT business” by the stop of this 12 months. Movie of his reviews at the conference were being leaked to Jordan Zakarin, a reporter at Much more Best Union.

Schultz admitted he is not a “digital native” but has been learning NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, a burgeoning technological know-how that enable persons to safe exceptional possession of artwork, video clips, shots, and other electronic content on the blockchain. Revenue on OpenSea, a NFT marketplace, ended up at $2.5 billion in March, down from $5 billion in January, Reuters documented.

Other providers and manufacturers which include Taco Bell and Papa Johns are dipping their toes in NFTs. iHeartMedia is building a new NFT-based mostly podcast network, Axios noted Tuesday. Previous thirty day period TIME introduced the first-at any time entire magazine concern as an NFT.

“If you glimpse at the firms, the models, the celebrities, the influencers that are making an attempt to create a electronic NFT platform and business, I cannot uncover 1 of them that has the treasure trove of property that Starbucks has, from collectibles to the overall heritage of the organization,” Schultz reported at the town corridor assembly, known as “Partner Open up Discussion boards.”

We achieved out to Starbucks for additional facts and will update if we listen to again.

Starbucks on Monday also declared that it is suspending its stock repurchasing program. Schultz, who has rejoined the company’s board, at the assembly Monday also reportedly dealt with the growing unionization initiatives among the Starbucks staff members.

Starbucks has much more than 30,000 retailers and employs a lot more than 400,000 individuals. Its inventory is down far more than 20% over the earlier year.

The company’s board has formed a performing committee to carry out an ongoing search for Johnson’s lasting alternative. A decision is expected by this slide.