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Brief Published: 26 May 2015

Speedy Retail: Starbucks Express

Starbucks Express, NYC

Tapping into the growing consumer desire for more streamlined, on-the-go experiences, US coffee giant Starbucks has debuted its first convenience-focused concept, dubbed Starbucks Express, on New York's ultra-busy Wall Street.

Spanning only 538 sq ft – around a quarter of the size of a typical Starbucks store – the compact architectural design plays on horizontal wood panelling to create an illusion of depth. Devoid of chairs and tables, it has been devised as a largely open-plan concept to avoid the diminutive space appearing cramped. The bar has been pushed low and the kitchen framed wide, like a show kitchen, enabling employees to interact with customers from every area – not just the standard service space.

A limited menu is displayed on a digital screen by the store entrance, allowing consumers to quickly choose a beverage, place their order with one of the tablet-equipped sales assistants nearby, and collect their drink from the counter when it's ready – significantly reducing queuing time. To streamline the experience even further, consumers can pre-order drinks using the Starbucks app and collect them at a designated time.

The brand plans to open four more Express locations in New York by the end of 2015.

For a more in-depth look at streamlining shopping experiences, including managing wait times and limited menus, see The Streamlined Sell – part of the Roaming Retail Industry Trend. See also Starbucks in Transit: Store on a Train, Commuter Commerce, Compact Stores, Mobile Food and Going Micro: The Art & Science of Designing for Small Spaces.