Coinstar Machines to Dispense Starbucks Coffee -- Almost

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Coinstar, Inc., a provider of self-service coin counting solutions, today rolled out an initial set of gift cards for a new Coin to Card program that allows consumers to convert loose change into gift cards from supermarkets and other national retailers.

The new offering, rolling out to selected Coinstar kiosks starting this spring, is intended to drive consumer traffic to retail customers and card issuers, and also provide a no-fee coin counting option to end users.

The Coin to Card model was first tested with Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Co. and its Starbucks Card in Seattle, Las Vegas, and Philadelphia. Based on early results, the new service, which will continue to include the Starbucks Card, will be expanded to the Coinstar network on a regional basis. It is expected to be implemented across the country within the next two to three years.

Hollywood Video will also be among the first set of gift cards to be added to the Coinstar kiosk, and the company is looking to add additional retail gift cards in the future, which will include cards in categories such as books, movies, apparel, restaurants, and home improvement.

The Coinstar kiosk, typically located at the front end, will provide users with the ability to choose from up to three retail gift cards or a branded gift card from the participating supermarkets.

"It's a great program for our retail and card partners as well as consumers," said Rich Stillman, president of Coinstar, Inc. "This new service, featuring no-fee coin counting, gives consumers a compelling reason to convert the estimated $10 billion in idle change sitting dormant in American households into something of real value."
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