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Brief Published: 15 Oct 2012

Starbucks’ Experimental Pop-up by Nendo


Last month, Japanese design studio Nendo launched an experimental pop-up store for US coffee company Starbucks in Tokyo, Japan that looks unlike anything you will have seen from the brand before.  

According to the team at Nendo, the unusually sleek, all-white, completely unbranded, store has been conceived as a homage to Japan’s traditional minimalist styling. While it may not look like the other destination coffee shops that Starbucks has begun unveiling recently (see thread, Starbuck’s New Eco-Local Drive-Thru), it is perfectly aligned with the brand’s overall strategy to create spaces specifically attuned to their local environments.

In a feature that’s more cute than logical, the ‘blank canvas’ design also plays on creating a link between favourite books and favourite coffees. The site’s floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, covering curved interior walls, was filled with books in nine different colourways, representing the nine different drinks being served in the store.

Customers were encouraged to discover the different types of coffee from the book covers before exchanging one at the counter for a corresponding drink. As a nice extra touch, the chosen book sleeve could then be kept and used to customise Starbucks takeaway flasks.

For more information on café culture and how the role of the coffee shop is evolving, look out for our upcoming report Café Culture, publishing in early November. For more on Nendo, see our profile, Nendo: Reimagining The Everyday


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