Now CBA customers queue for coffee

Customers of the Pitt St branch of the Commonwealth Bank in Sydney will soon be able to enjoy a coffee from a new Starbuck’s Coffee outlet being built inside.

The Commonwealth Bank has spent much time and money researching a redesign of the ‘look and feel’ of its branch network.

Over the last couple of years CBA customers have seen their branches convert to open floorplans where they are greeted by customer service officers at the front of the branch whilst tellers are tidily presented at the back.

The Pitt Street branch, which fronts Sydney’s famous Circular Quay area,is an attractive location for the American coffee chain.

Banks have long told us that one of the reasons behind their fee-for-service approach to business is the fixed costs of a traditional branch network and this development is no doubt conceived to convert more floor-space into revenue.

New Zealand’s ASB Bank already has established a similar branch model in Queenstown (although not with Starbuck’s).

Given that banks are starting to realise how integral branches are to their overall business it will be interesting to see how consumers react. No doubt CBA will use the premises to test the suitability of such a partnership and whether it ought to be extended.

Will it change the dynamic of the atmosphere in the branch making it more sociable and friendly? Will we now be meeting friends in the queue for a coffee?