Starbucks has provided a glimpse of what its stores in the busiest urban cities might look like in the future with the launch of its first ‘Starbucks Now’ site.
Described as an “innovative, express retail experience that seamlessly integrates Starbucks physical and digital customer touchpoints”, the store has a completely different look and feel to that traditionally associated with the American coffee chain.
The new set-up is designed to combine the signature Starbucks café environment with ‘Mobile Order & Pay’ and ‘Starbucks Delivers’ customer experiences, allowing customers and delivery riders to get beverages and food as conveniently as possible.
The roll-out is being concentrated on China, with the first store located at the heart of Beijing’s financial district.
Leo Tsoi, COO and president of Starbucks China Retail, said it is the company’s first express retail format location offering new levels of convenience and speed to meet the needs of today’s modern urban lifestyle.
“This new retail format and design approach provides us with a platform to offer customers a fast and convenient retail experience to suit their on-the-go lifestyle.”
Customers entering the store will be greeted by a Starbucks barista at the elevated concierge counter to assist with ordering or order pickup.
They can choose from a menu of handcrafted beverage options tailored for the on-the-go customer along with an assortment of popular food items.
Limited seating is available for customers who choose to stay and relax with their favourite food and beverages in the store.
For delivery riders, a dedicated area for Starbucks Delivers orders enables quick and easy pickup supported by baristas offering the unparalleled best-in-class Starbucks Experience.
Fulfilled Starbucks Now and Starbucks Delivers online orders will be placed in a safe and secure in-wall system with a designated pickup portal associated with each order.
The store will also have the ability to serve as a centralised dispatch centre for delivery orders within a certain radius so Starbucks baristas at neighbouring cafés can focus on delivering exceptional service to in-store customers at those locations.
During peak times, Starbucks Delivers beverage orders will be handcrafted by baristas from a central kitchen that is part of the Starbucks Now store.
The company plans to open new Starbucks Nowstores across high-traffic areas, including business and transportation hubs as well as to new cities in China. It has not commented on plans to expand the concept outside of China.