Starbucks in the community stores to have local flavour

Starbucks is planning a major overhaul of its UK stores as part of a global strategy to reflect a greater community feel in its outlets.

Britain’s biggest coffee shop chain is planning to refresh its UK stores by moving away from its template approach to store designs, with their beige and green colour themes.

Following a consultation process undertaken by the company with its 9,000 staff, it is now planning to take a more bespoke approach to the design of its stores.

This could include local artefacts, the use of bolder colours and bigger community notice boards.

It is understood that Starbucks is to also give its loyalty card holders access to free Wi-Fi, while it is also trialling low-fat food alternatives such as carrot sticks and porridge.

The major shift in strategy echoes what is happening in the chain’s global operations.

In Seattle, it has opened a store called 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea Inspired by Starbucks. It is also planning to open a second Seattle store called Roy Street Coffee & Tea.

The company this year announced plans to axe about 6,700 jobs and close down more than 300 stores globally in response to consumers reducing their spend in the face of the recession.

In the UK, its major competitors include Costa Coffee, Nero and McDonald’s, which has been aggressively advertising its coffee offerings in the press together with a free voucher to trial its regular, latte or cappuccino beverages.

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