Starbucks debuts high-end, small format store

Starbucks (NYSE:SBUX) announced it would open its first-ever Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. In addition, the brand will introduce an express store format in 2015 aimed at commuters and coffee connoisseurs.

In December, the retailer will open a Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, where consumers can learn about coffee roasting and taste specialty blends.

"Everything we have created and learned about coffee has led us to this moment," said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks. "The Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room is a multi-sensory experience that will transform the future of specialty coffee. We plan to take this super premium experience to cities around the world, elevating the Starbucks experience not only through these stores but across our entire business."

Starbucks introduced premium coffees 10 years ago and launched the Starbucks Reserve brand two years ago. Since then, they have been working on developing the tasting room concept.

The company announced it would open 100 Reserve locations in the next five years and offer the special coffee line to 1,500 existing stores. The retailer's expansion is well underway. Starbucks announced this spring that it would open 1,500 new stores by the end of the year.

Recently, Starbucks opened its first ever Reserve location in Latin America as part of a three-level store serving 100 percent Colombian coffee. The store is on track to exceed more than $1.5 million in sales after its first year in operation. 

In addition, the retailer recently launched the express format to reach out to busy, urban consumers. The express format builds upon the success of drive-thru models, which account for 40 percent of the company's U.S. business.

"The evolution of our store experience is a direct reflection of how our customers are interested in both accessibility to the brand as well as speed and convenience. Our scale affords us the unique opportunity to bring a flexible portfolio of options rooted in our core commitment to coffee quality," said Cliff Burrows, group president, U.S., Americas and Teavana.

The express format will integrate Starbucks' digital payment platform and accept mobile ordering to expedite service. The retailer began testing a mobile ordering app back in July.

For more:
-See this Starbucks press release

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