The first Starbucks express store in Canada recently opened in Toronto’s Union Station. Toronto moves at a fast pace, with a huge influx of commuters who make their way into the city each day. Union Station welcomes 250,000 commuters each day, with hundreds disembarking from trains at the same time. For those commuters, it is essential to save time and move quickly. Most Starbucks stores are designed in layers, integrating community gathering spaces, working environments and immersive coffee experiences all in one location. This new express store will be one of the most streamlined experiences in the company’s portfolio, designed for serving customers high-quality Starbucks products with speed.
“Designed with the urban commuter in mind, the express store takes what is best about our cafés and refines it for faster service for our on-the-go customers,” says Rossann Williams, president, Starbucks Canada. “Express stores seamlessly integrate technology and efficiency into the customer experience, reducing the amount of time customers need to stand in line.”
The store will be the third of its kind in the world following the two New York locations that opened early last year on Wall Street and the Empire State Building. This thoughtfully designed 400-square foot store is tailored for serving customers with the efficiency that comes with knowing what they want, quickly. Simply put, this format is the “espresso shot” version of the store experience Starbucks is known for.
Getting this right meant starting from the beginning where, upon entry, customers are greeted by a Starbucks partner (employee) who will be able to take orders, which are electronically sent to the barista. Moving through the space, customers see a digital menu board displayed on four low-glare monitors. A set of menu options, tailored for the commuter, includes the most popular products amongst Canadian customers with a focus on high-quality brewed coffee, signature espresso beverages and a selection of popular food items including breakfast sandwiches. This display also serves as a form of art at night with glowing images of coffee farms shining through the station.
“Express stores feature a walk-through experience with no seating. The open layout ensures Starbucks partners are at the heart of the experience, helping customers travel through the space seamlessly,” said Williams. “We carefully considered every component from a design and environmental perspective. Not only have we created something beautiful, we have built it to our green building LEED standards.”
This new store is the latest example of the company leading to meet customer needs. The store joins a diverse portfolio of designs ranging from large footprint cafés and community stores to drive thrus.