New Starbucks store highlights changing face of coffee shops

Starbucks has launched a new flagship store at 5 Upper St Martin’s Lane, providing a glimpse into the future of the branded coffee shop.

Located in the heart of London’s Theatre District and inspired by the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle, the new store has been designed to shake up coffee shop tradition by providing an immersive coffee experience.

Gone is the old-fashioned till system. Customers now place their order using a handheld device from the comfort of a seat, after being greeted and given a menu by a member of staff.

This store aims to keep everything visible and interactive, enabling customers to experience Starbucks Reserve single origin coffees using a wide range of brewing methods including French press, pour-over, syphon and Clover machine. The store will also offer a selection of speciality espresso beverages, like the Shakerato Bianco, crafted on the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle espresso machine.

Through introduction of its Reserve coffees, Starbucks has recognised the trend for increasing quality across the whole landscape of coffee, not just in the UK but on a global level. The addition of an open kitchen, with food made onsite daily, allows Starbucks to respond to the need for a much higher quality food offering in coffee-focused operators.

By extending the store’s opening hours and offering an evening menu of wine, craft beer and small bites, Starbucks is also aligning itself with influential artisan coffee shops in London such as Caravan, Notes and Workshop.

“What we are seeing in Britain,” explains Rhys Iley, Vice President Licensed Operations EMEA at Starbucks, “is that pubs are on the decline, but we have seen the rise of coffee shops and now we want coffee shops to cater to everyone.”

In launching this new experiential store, Starbucks is demonstrating its leadership within the coffee industry, while exploring consumers’ evolving interest in speciality coffee and the impact this may have on the wider industry.

The store shows how a leading brand can innovate and effectively respond to trends, using technology to break down the barriers between barista and customer, enabling greater engagement and an elevated customer experience.

This standout store is a must-see for all coffee professionals keen to understand what the next stage of development could be for the UK branded coffee shop market.
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