Starbucks Has a Retail Format for Everyone
With over 21,000 locations in 65 countries, Starbucks has perfected its current store format. Whether you are in the Starbucks in the center of New York City, at the entrance of the Louvre in Paris, or need a coffee before you get on the London Eye; when you walk in, the store always looks the same and you can be certain that you will have access to your favorite drinks, a mostly peaceful atmosphere, and most importantly free Wi-Fi. It has become a company that not only has thousands of locations all over the world, but a place customers can count on finding almost anywhere they go. Since opening in 1971, Starbucks has been no stranger to innovation. If anything, it seems as though the coffee chain is constantly coming up with new ideas to continue to dominate the market. This year alone it has added a new line of in-house sodas and food under La Boulange®, announced that select stores will begin selling wine, has begun updating stores with charging tables, and has food trucks at several college campuses. Its growth plan is not slow either, with approximately 1,550 net new stores opening in 2014, and 1,600 net new stores in 2015. If all of this wasn’t enough, the company has just announced that it will begin constructing two new store formats.
The first new format will be a “one-of-a-kind, interactive Starbucks Reserve™ Roastery and Tasting Room dedicated to roasting, coffee education and increased availability of their fast-growing, highly successful small-lot Starbucks Reserve® coffees.” The first store is planned to open in Seattle in December 2014 and the company plans to open at least 100 stores under this format. Typical stores are usually between 500 and 1,500-sq.-ft., but this new format will be a massive 15,000-sq.-ft. As of now the Starbucks Reserve brand, which consists of rare coffees that sell for a limited time, is only in 800 of its stores, but this number will grow to 1,500 once additional Roasteries open and the company can increase its small-batch roasting capacity. This store is for the more sophisticated coffee drinkers who want to expand their coffee knowledge and palate.
On the other end of the spectrum, Starbucks is also opening a smaller format for the urban customer that’s on-the-go. The company found that 40% of all sales come from locations with drive-thru windows, emphasizing the opportunity for a smaller express store. These new locations will emphasize the use of digital and pre-payment options, making getting coffee on-the-run even quicker. This store will also offer more limited specials and have a condensed menu. The first Express store is planned to open in New York City in 2015.
Starbuck’s main goal is to provide something for everyone. Whether it is a college student that needs a place to study, a person that needs somewhere to meet a friend to talk, a consumer that wants to learn more about coffee, or someone on-the-go that just needs a caffeine pick-me-up. The company is the leading coffee chain in the world and continually sets the precedent for all other companies in the industry.