The first revamped store will open in Vigo Street, Mayfair, next month. All interiors work is being carried out in-house by a 12-strong design team led by head of design for Starbucks UK Thom Breslin.
Out of the 70 stores, 35 will be what Starbucks describes as ‘major renovations’ with six key stores undergoing significant structural changes, including the Vigo Street branch and the Brushfield Street store, due to open at the end of April.
The overhauls will continue with Starbucks’ drive to create ‘neighbourhood’ coffee stores, with each tailored to its location or clientele.
Breslin says, ‘It’s an amazing opportunity to invest in London. The brand values of London parallel the brand values of Starbucks: there’s an awareness of how important it is to the global map, and it’s one of the most diverse cities in the world.’
He adds, ‘Every store is looked at on its own merit – we want to create stores that are fit for purpose for their community and neighbourhood. We have to look at the architectural and design cues – a rationale has to go into the thinking.’
The Vigo Street branch draws on the French ‘Maison’ feel of the 110 year-old building. The current office space is being reclaimed to make space for a new ‘fish tank’ style pastry case along the back of the store, and the space will feature exposed marble columns and a restored mahogany and mother-of-pearl Turkish ceiling.
A large wooden table will run across the centre of the store with a global map of coffee regions etched onto it, and custom-made chandeliers will be fitted. A wall covering will be used across one side that references Starbucks’ dual Seattle and London heritage, using the star secondary brand marque and icons such as coffee cups in a monochrome pattern.
Breslin says, ‘It’s near Savile Row at the heart of luxury so we’re using Chesterfield seating in British tweed and heritage colours. It’s in a very high-profile part of town so there’s a bit of glamour – we’re using words like “sumptuous” and “luxurious” but there’s no forgetting it’s a Starbucks – it’s a democratic space.’
All London interior revamps are due to be complete by the end of May, with an additional 50 stores opening across the UK by October this year.