Magazine article American Banker

Wells Testing Branches That Offer Coffee, Dry Cleaning, or Lunch

Magazine article American Banker

Wells Testing Branches That Offer Coffee, Dry Cleaning, or Lunch

Article excerpt

Where would you go to get a neatly pressed pleat, a cup of double-shot decaffeinated latte, and a six-month certificate of deposit?

How about the nearest bank branch?

Wells Fargo & Co. will offer all these services starting early next year in seven redesigned California branches.

Along with full-service banking, the branches will house boutiques for Pressing Business, a San Francisco dry cleaning chain; Starbucks Coffee Co.; Briazz, a Seattle-based sandwich and salad chain; and Wells Fargo Express, the bank's own postage and copying service.

Bustling commercial districts in San Francisco and Glendale, Pasadena, and Orange County, Calif., have been targeted for the pilot program. Five branches will cater to retail consumers; two will focus on small businesses.

"By bringing these convenient services together in one place, we have created an exciting new destination and added value for our customers," said Joe Stiglich, vice chairman and head of Wells Fargo's branch network.

Wells Fargo is not the first bank to combine financial products with consumer goods. In its headquarters city of Cleveland, KeyCorp paired up with Office Max, a chain of office supply stores, to open a branch that caters to nearby small businesses.

But many banks have gone in the opposite direction, opening branches in retail venues such as supermarkets and department stores. Wells Fargo itself has 775 in-store branches throughout its 10-state network and has no plan to eliminate them, said a spokesman.

This latest marketing effort turns the idea of in-store branches on its head. …

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