Starbucks launches boutique stores in UK

Starbucks launches its first UK coffee shop to feature a new, boutique design in London today.

Created by the retailer’s in-house team, the new concept will see interiors tailored to each location, with the eventual goal of making every Starbucks store unique.

Inspired by loft living, the shop will be ‘contemporary and light-filled’ and ‘reflect the character of the surrounding area’, according to a release from the coffee retailer.

Starbucks is keen to push its credentials as a socially and environmentally responsible company with the new format. Starbucks claims that this ‘beacon’ London store makes use of reclaimed wood panelling, picture frames salvaged from a Victorian brewery and Welsh oak from the storm of 1987.

New features also include a bar area that the retailer hopes will encourage conversation between customers and staff.

Starbucks’ global design senior vice-president Tim Pfeiffer calls the shop, on Conduit Street, W1, ‘a huge leap forward in coffee-house design’.

The store will bear Starbucks’ original logo from its first store in Seattle, founded in 1971. The marque is based on a 16th-century Norse woodcut featuring a mermaid encircled by the store’s original name, Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spice.

The new interiors concept will roll out gradually in the UK and globally when new stores open or come up for refurbishment.

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  • David November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    As if we need more Starbucks stores! I think the onward march of the multinational chain is killing the creativity of the smaller shops. The monotone drudgery of the “average highstret” has halted the freedom of thought, so much so that I feel people now don’t have an opinion on what they like anymore. They wait to see what is spat at them by massive corporations and then believe that this must be what “Good” interior and shop design is. All this boils down to a repetitive succession of “little boxes made of ticky tacky, and they all look just the same” and all this saddens me deeply.

  • Neil November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    It still isn’t going to make me buy coffee from Starbucks no matter how much reclaimed wood they salvaged or how many squirrels they have now saved.

    I would rather push pencils in my eyes (violently).

  • Liz Farrelly November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I wonder, when will Starbucks actually gain planning permission for the coffee shop they’ve already opened in Brighton’s St. James Street, just up the road from a very busy and successful local coffee roasters/cafe. That Starbucks branch has been picketed, every Saturday for months, by angry locals. How on earth did the giant multi-national get away with so blatantly flouting the law? Having witnessed the inconsistencies of Brighton Council’s planning department in relation to a number of locally-owned businesses, I can only guess at what greased their decision. Plus, can anyone tell me why so many celebrities queue up to buy Starbucks coffee? It’s horrible! Perhaps they’re being paid to…..

  • adam king November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Perhaps they should focus on making their coffee taste less like heated sewage than boutique shops. Basics first.

  • Francesca Greco November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    It is sad to see the idea of good design being misrepresented in this way. I think the design world has moved far beyond the idea that using responsible building materials constitutes good design – this is something so fundamental in any design, that really, we should all just stop talking about it, and just do it. To use this idea to unveil a new design, and keep rolling it out as if it was the next best thing, it already dated. As a business strategy, it is a weak idea. Perhaps a better idea (to report) would be to focus on designing stronger relationships with the exploited coffee growers in third world countries. Perhaps also investing more in research on how to design a way to deliver better quality coffee would also help, and possibly, as noted above, save some people from pushing pencils in their eyes.

  • Another David November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Come on, this is anything new. Tesco did this when they introduced their stores into upmarket areas of London.

    The South Ken store is considerably more appealing and uses a host of finer materials then, lets say the Tottenham store (no disrespect!).

    In the end, it’s all about the product, service and what the company stand for..give me a small independent coffee shop where you are giving to a hard working family any day of the week!

  • cass November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Nice design idea but i think they should focus on the quality of their coffee as well as the shop interiors. At the moment, it tastes so bland compared to Pret and Nero, its far off.

  • chris h November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Starbucks is probably one of the most responsible companies when it comes to “exploiting” producers. The amount of certifications of the coffee requires is insane. For years producers have saved their coffee for starbucks because of the huge premiums they pay. The quality of the coffee is top notch as well. Whether you like their roasting style is another issue, but their quality is second to none.

  • Stephanie Brown November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Walked past this new store last night. The description in the article makes it sound amazing. The reality is far different – just looks like another high street coffee shop. Yes, it’s different from the dated Starbucks concept we see everywhere. But is it truly differentiating? Not in my opinion.

  • Gavin Greenhalf November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Is it just me or has the quality of Starbucks coffee gone drastically downhill recently? They found out that they’ve changed their beans in the current store. And now there’s a boutique store. Clever. I guess we’ll be seeing the old coffee reappear in the new store being pitch as premium coffee no doubt. Don’t get me started on Sky HD.

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