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Starbucks To Raise Prices On Select Drinks, And Lower On Simple Drinks
A Starbucks coffee shop. Photograph by Chris Hondros—Getty Images

Life in the espresso lane: Starbucks launching ‘Starbucks for Life’

Oct 16, 2014

For those addicted to Starbucks' coffee, the company's latest marketing ploy is a golden offer: a chance to get free "Starbucks for Life."

Starbucks (sbux), which on Thursday announced several traffic-driving initiatives for the holiday season, said it was offering 100 uniquely designed Starbucks cards that would give customers a chance to get their daily cup of joe for free at the coffee giant's locations. Details in Starbucks' prepared statement were scarce, though a spokeswoman told Fortune that the promotion will begin in early December and customers will have the chance to win the promotion twice a day. The promotion is for one free beverage or food item every day for 30 years.

Starbucks said customers can potentially win the "Starbucks for Life" cards by swiping their Starbucks store card or paying with their mobile device (an app that is also tied to those cards).

Chief Executive Howard Schultz said the promotion is among a handful of initiatives Starbucks is planning to generate traffic to its stores, noting that many peers last year suffered from weak traffic as more shopping shifted to online channels.

"Customers researched, compared prices, and then bought the brands and items they wanted online, frequently utilizing a mobile device to do so," Schultz said. With that in mind, Starbucks is adding some new benefits to its cards, including sneak previews of new products and promotions.

Though retailers are struggling with troublesome declines in store traffic and same-store sales, Starbucks has largely bucked that downward trend. Comparable same-store sales leapt 6% globally in the latest quarter, the 18th consecutive quarter growth has exceeded 5%. In the U.S., comparable-store sales were up 7%.

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