Lukewarm reception for new look Starbucks

Starbucks’ plan to revamp its in-store design and move away from a one-size-fits-all format has failed to gain support from those voting in a Marketingweek.co.uk poll.

Starbucks: Change for the worse?
Starbucks: Change for the worse?

Just 34.3% of respondents said the coffee shop chain needs to overhaul its standard store template and ditch the green and beige colour scheme, while 58.2% of respondents said it didn’t.

The Seattle-based company first announced its new in-store design strategy in June, with US outlets the first to roll out the changes.

This month, Starbucks UK and Ireland MD Darcy Willson-Rymer announced plans to include community notice boards and antique-looking furniture in outlets this side of the Atlantic.

Willson-Rymer said Starbucks plans to increase its focus on “local relevance and environmental responsibility”.

But Future Brand head of client services Andrew Mulholland warns that when consumers walk into a Starbucks store they make the conscious decision to turn to a global chain as opposed to an independent coffee shop.

“If it plans to ‘localise’ a global brand, Starbucks needs to be careful not to be something it’s not. Consumers will also need to be convinced of its environmentally responsible positioning,” he says.

“McDonald’s, as an example, has managed to update its retail space in line with its vision, which perhaps may not have changed significantly but in terms of public perception it has done a great job on the issue of health and the fear over junk food.”

Starbucks’ in-store plans comes in a year in which it has announced plans to axe about 6,700 jobs and close more than 300 stores globally. In the UK, it has also lost nearly $47m (£29.5m) in the year to 28 September.

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