Starbucks set to open cashier free store

Starbucks is opening a dedicated order online only Starbucks at its headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

Due to the popularity of its app, whereby customers can pre-order beverages and food online and then pick up the order at a nearby cafe, the coffee brand is creating an order-online-only store catering solely to digitally-savvy customers.

The worldwide coffee shop has been searching for ways to ease the continuous bottlenecks at peak times throughout the stores. This was primarily because the stores are full of people who order online, as well as people who are ordering in store.

Mobile orders from the building will be routed to the new store, which will have a large window where customers can pick up drinks and see them being made.

Starbucks currently has 24,464 stores worldwide.

Mobile order and pay growing in popularity

With more than 5000 employees in the headquarters, the eight-floor store, called SoDo 8, is one of the top three mobile-ordering locations in the US.

“We’re going to redesign new stores and existing remodels to reflect the fact that Mobile Order & Pay, although in its nascent stage, is obviously going to be a significant part of the morning business,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a conference call with analysts.

“Over the last five or six years we’ve had to continuously solve problems of the increased scaling of transactions in our store,” said Johnson, the current Starbucks COO. “This is no different. We are focused on a set of solutions.”

Other solutions include text message notifications for MOP customers to notify them that their food and drink are ready for pick-up, or a “mobile kiosk” specifically for MOP orders. Schultz noted that MOP has been an “unbelievable surprise success” and that Starbucks did not expect to see such a positive response this quickly. That being said, the new technology has “significantly affected the morning ritual and at times created anxiety among existing customers,” he noted.

But, he called it a “great problem,” and one the coffee giant knows how to solve.

“This is not rocket science,” Schultz said. “This is what we do everyday as retailers and merchants. We are in this thing right now, deeply trying to understand specifically what we can do on an interim basis and over the long term.

Further, Schultz said that the MOP activity and Starbucks’ focus on 1-to-1 personalisation and digital marketing “bodes so well for the growth and development of the company,” especially given decreased foot traffic that brick-and-mortar retailers are seeing nationwide.


Edited from press release by Ella Donaldson