While the coffee giant envisions 1,000 fancy Reserve stores globally, it will start out close to home — at the company’s Sodo headquarters.
Starbucks will open the first of 1,000 planned high-end Reserve stores in the lobby of its corporate headquarters in Sodo.
The Reserve stores — which will serve Starbucks’ premium, small-lot coffee beans, brewed in a variety of methods, along with food from Italian bakery Princi — are a new store format for Starbucks and represent a key part of the coffee giant’s strategy to capture the high-end of the coffee market.
The existing store in the Sodo lobby will close April 7 for broader headquarters renovations and to make way for the new store, which will open this fall, according to an email sent to Starbucks employees working at corporate headquarters.
The Reserve store will be open to the public.
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While the Reserve store is being constructed, a Starbucks mobile truck will be located at the front patio to serve employees and the public.
In a separate initiative at its headquarters, the company also will be experimenting with the first location at which customers can only order via Starbucks’ mobile ordering system.
The “mobile order-and-pay” system allows customers to place their order, and pay for it, via the Starbucks smartphone app. Theoretically, it allows customers to bypass long lines at stores.
But use of that feature has become so popular at some locations that it’s created congestion in stores from people waiting to pick up their orders.
The company will be putting in the mobile order-and-pay-only location on the eighth floor of its headquarters building, across from the existing Starbucks store there. The existing store is one of the company’s top three mobile-ordering sites in the United States, according to the email to employees.
“An early experiment, this first of its kind experience will be tailored specifically for convenience and we expect to learn from this location,” the email continues.
The mobile order-and-pay-only store, which will open next week, and the existing Sodo 8 store, are only for company employees and those visiting employees.