Summary:

(reg, req.) What a concept: have wi-fi in-store, will offer downloads. Anyway, at Starbucks’ annual meeting in Seattle yesterday, chairman H…

(reg, req.) What a concept: have wi-fi in-store, will offer downloads. Anyway, at Starbucks’ annual meeting in Seattle yesterday, chairman Howard Shultz spoke about, among other things, digital media. He said that the company has the largest Wi-Fi footprint of Internet hotspots in its stores, but it has yet to adequately leverage the service.

While he said the CD business “has a very long life,” having Wi-Fi gives Starbucks a “unique proprietary competitive advantage…We understand the cultural relevancy of digital fill-up. I can’t say when, but it’s in our future.”

He wouldn’t provide many specifics but said the company may partner with entertainment or Internet providers to create a proprietary network. “Starbucks is a network,” Schultz said.

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