A routine POS upgrade went array for Starbucks on May 16, preventing some stores from accepting credit card payment. Some of the effective stores stayed open, accepting cash only payment, while other were forced to close their doors until the POS miscue could be resolved.
Starbucks has been on the cutting-edge in the payment space, growing its Mobile Order & Pay solution at an accelerated rate, forcing the retailer to reexamine its in-store operations to keep pace with demand. However, even tech trailblazers are not immune to a hiccup or two, evidenced by Starbucks’ clunky POS upgrade.
“As part of our normal course of business, overnight we worked to install a technology update to our store registers in the U.S. and Canada,” the company said in a statement. “A limited number of locations remain offline, and we are working swiftly to resume full operations in each of these stores.”
While the cash-only transactions and store closures were not ideal, the retailer was able to leverage the problem as an opportunity. To help lessen the disappointment customers faced many Starbucks locations gave away free coffee instead of turning customers away empty handed.
While Starbucks did not disclose the exact number of affected stores it is rumored that the number was in the thousands.