New to Starbucks' Menu: 'Express' Stores

Convenience concept will augment “one-of-a-kind, interactive stores”

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

Starbucks coffee cup

SEATTLE -- Starbucks is making a move toward convenience with an “express” store concept that will target commuters.

The Seattle-based coffee-shop chain plans to invest “in smaller, alternative store footprints that address the increase in urbanization and decentralization of retail,” the company said. “With drive-thru stores accounting for more than 40% of [our] U.S. company-operated stores and higher-than-average sales growth than non-drive-thru locations, there is significant opportunity to meet commuting customers in smaller experiences.”

In addition to providing a concentrated set of beverage and food offerings, the express formats will look to integrate Starbucks digital payment platform, including mobile ordering to expedite speed of service in these locations. The growth of Starbucks digital payment applications and online presence will also allow the company to identify opportunities where store segmentation can support an enhanced physical and digital retail experience to expedited merchandise and at home coffee purchases or subscriptions for take-home or home delivery.

This smaller-but-quicker concept will be offset by a second new approach that encourages consumers to luxuriate in the Starbucks brand and the process of making coffee. This concept, dubbed Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, is dedicated to roasting, coffee education and increased availability of fast-growing, highly successful small-lot Starbucks Reserve coffees.

This consolidation of small-batch roasting will allow the company to expand its Starbucks Reserve coffee line to 1,500 locations globally, as well as open at least 100 “one-of-a-kind, interactive … stores designed to highlight these rare coffees exclusively.”

“The evolution of our store experience is a direct reflection of how our customers are interested in both accessibility to the brand as well as speed and convenience. Our scale affords us the unique opportunity to bring a flexible portfolio of options rooted in our core commitment to coffee quality,” said Cliff Burrows, group president, U.S., Americas and Teavana.

Starbucks is on track to bring approximately 1,550 net new stores in fiscal year and 1,600 net new stores in fiscal year 2015 with nearly 300 net new company-operated locations in the United States.

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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