In the UK, there’s a long-running urban myth that the skirts on sale in department store chain Marks & Spencer get shorter the further north you go. Now, Starbucks has developed its own version of this corporate Mean Girls strategy: it’s going to tailor its “store formats” according to how classy it thinks your area is.
According to a press release on the firm’s website, it’s rolling out three new store formats over the next couple of years. The “Starbucks Reserve™ Roastery and Tasting Room” will launch in Starbucks’ hometown of Seattle this winter. This, according to chairman Howard Schultz, will be a “super premium experience” including an “education and retail space” and “coffee theatre” (we don’t know what this is either). Such branches will only serve small batches of specially grown coffee, roasted on site.
One step down the ladder are the 100 “super-premium Starbucks Reserve®” stores the company plans to open in “strategic markets” over the next five years. They’ll also serve drinks made from small-batch coffee beans; tragically, though, they won’t offer an education centre, roastery or coffee theatre.
Here’s a picture of the outside of a Starbucks Reserve store, confirming our suspicions that this “super-premium” image necessitates a bit of a departure from Starbucks’ standard branding: