Starbucks’ Future To Include Beer & Wine?

Starbucks’ Future To Include Beer & Wine?

The company will test if it can encourage guests to spend part of their evenings at the store by serving beer, wine and cheese - and redesigning the shop to feel like a natural part of the neighborhood.

Paloma M. Vazquez
  • 19 october 2010

The Starbucks of the future – if a new prototype renders the concept effective – may serve regional wine and beer, offer locally made cheeses served on china, host a redesigned barista bar where customers are close to the coffee, and be ‘green’ in both design and color. This Starbucks could easily be confused for an established neighborhood cafe, and not a globalized, heavily branded chain location. This prototype Starbucks store is located at a 10-year old location on Olive Way in Seattle’s Capitol Hill area, after being closed for a three-month long redesign.

While we’ve seen and discussed Starbucks prototypes before as part of its efforts for continued evolution, this particular protoype comes at a decisive time for Starbucks, as the company turns 40. The objective is two fold: for customers, to make the stores seem friendly and more part of the neighborhood; and for stockholders, to make the stores more profitable by targeting greater evening visitation & consumption (currently, US Starbucks stores get 70% of their business before 2PM). That is where Starbucks hopes the beer, wine and cheese could deliver – and it’s that focus on evening participation that previous prototypes may not have been as focused on encouraging.

The USA Today piece includes a walk-through of the location 5 days prior to opening, and points out some of the key experiential differences between this and standard Starbucks locations – these may serve as an advantage, or as a risk:

For one, the new store doesn’t instantly look like Starbucks. The colors are muted. The lighting, particularly in the evenings, is dimmed. The whole design tenor is low key, as if trying to look like it’s been part of the neighborhood for decades. It simply doesn’t scream Starbucks when you walk in the door.

For a company that’s trying to encourage evening visitation – and guests staying to ‘hang out’ – this could be beneficial. It could also alienate those ‘purists’ that visit Starbucks purely for the coffee, and whom would prefer to visit a bar in the evenings, vs. the same spot they may visit in the morning.

In the spirit of continued innovation and evolution, Starbucks is taking a very active, potentially risky decision by testing this new prototype. But isn’t this what ANY brand should do in setting the course for its future direction, and seizing new opportunities to better serve customers (even when those customers don’t realize they want this from the brand in question)?  The company and global brand is testing if it can change perception and increase consumption/visitation behavior by altering the experience, product and service it offers in stores. We will keep a close eye on how this prototype performs for the brand, and are very curious to see what it learns.

USA Today: “Starbucks remakes its future with an eye on beer and wine”


Bringing Food Innovation To America's Crowded Milk Market

Culture Today

Artist Designs Covers For Books That Don’t Exist

Published by the fictional "Specious Books," the subversive works facilitate a conversation regarding the artistic integrity of graphic designers

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Financial Services Today

Device Makes Digital Currency Feel Tangible

The concept gadget wants you to experience the highs and lows of spending money

Advertising Today

Lyft Gives Free Rides To Those Who Have Had Too Much To Drink

Thanks to a new partnership between the ride sharing service and Budweiser, drunk passengers are able to receive free rides

Related Expert

Carl Goodman

Exhibition Design & Digital Media

Design & Architecture Today

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

NBC Is Planning To Stream The Presidential Debates In Virtual Reality

Partnering with AltspaceVR, the broadcaster offers another way for Americans to engage with the election season

Travel Today

What Happens When An Entire Airport Terminal Rebrands Itself?

JFK's Terminal 4 underwent a dramatic design facelift to guide and delight travelers


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling

Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

No search results found.