Friday, August 28, 2009

Not the coffee?

An internal memo from Starbucks about another new unbranded ("stealth" location) surfaced on the internet last night. It is very sad and quite revealing. Their assessment of themselves - a bit weak. We give them a lot of credit for elevating the awareness of specialty coffee. It is a shame they don't see the forest through the trees.

Rubinfeld’s memo follows (in its entirety):
To: All Starbucks Partners
Date: Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Re: Message from Arthur Rubinfeld - Global Store Design Update
Dear Partners,

With the recent announcement of our new global design strategy and the unveiling of our innovative concepts in Seattle and Paris, we’re off to a strong start in transforming the Starbucks store experience. We’re looking forward to building and renovating stores around the world with an amplified focus on coffee heritage, local relevance and sustainability.

In the process, we’re looking to sharpen our focus, challenge our own assumptions and stimulate new ideas — while staying true to Starbucks mission and core values.

The level of energy generated by our 1st Avenue & Pike Street, University Village (both in Seattle) and Paris Disney Village stores has been tremendously exciting. And the global attention and buzz surrounding the opening of 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea in Seattle is truly a reflection of Starbucks iconic cultural significance. It’s also a reminder that we need to be very clear with our intentions.

As part of our plan to further expand upon these new design concepts, we are pleased to announce our next location in Seattle. A new coffeehouse, in the mercantile style of 15th Avenue, will open this fall at 700 Broadway East (in the Capitol Hill neighborhood) and be called “Roy Street Coffee & Tea.”

As you can tell, the naming of these mercantile coffeehouses is based on their respective street or neighborhood name. We openly place a byline — “Inspired by Starbucks” — on the front door and in various interior locations to honor our rich heritage.

By introducing fresh design ideas that celebrate local materials and incorporate reused and recycled elements, we’re bringing a new layer of creativity and design innovation to our business. As customers visit our stores, we hope they’ll feel a deeper connection to coffee, an enhanced sense of community and a greater level of commitment to environmental consciousness. In short, we hope they’ll be inspired.

I’d like to share a video posted on that highlights the collaboration between our design team and local artists and craftsmen. Please check it out and pass it along.

More information on our global design strategy can be found via the links below:

June 25 announcement

Fact sheets and photos for 1st Avenue & Pike Street, University Village and Paris Disney Village

Fact sheet for 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea

Website for 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea

Please take some time to preview our new store designs in person — or virtually — if you haven’t already. Thank you for your support.


Arthur Rubinfeld
president, Global Development

Originally posted by Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)Starbucks to open second ‘stealth’ coffee shop - by Greg Lamm