Speaking at Marketing Week Live in London today (26 June), Starbucks’ design director Thom Breslin explained how it has been revamping its London shops to make them more relevant to the areas they are in and be able to compete in the UK’s £5.7bn coffee market, where it currently trails Costa.
A store in Mayfair includes the features of the original building, St John’s Wood now has muted branding in dark colours and the Westfield Stratford shop uses prominent images of the brand’s ‘siren’ logo to match the shop’s ‘bling’ audience, Breslin said.
When the brand first came to this country in 1998, Breslin added, it was important to police the brand’s look and feel. Now he looks at each shop individually.
“I want to design every single Starbucks store differently. When you’re in a crowded market it allows you to stand out,” he said adding that the brand undertakes research of each location it is in.
It is currently revamping its Clerkenwell shop in London’s East End and is planning to roll out drive-thrus in retail parks and motorway service stations. It announced in 2011 that it will open 200 of these by 2016.
Appointed to the role in 2010, Breslin was Starbucks’ first UK design head, founding his own team and working on 100 new stores as well as 150 renovations each year. Previously they had been designed from the company’s US headquarters in Seattle.