The newest blend at coffeehouse segment leader Starbucks? For store design, it's sustainability with a shot of convenience, brought to market in new LEED-certified drive-thru/walk-up-only modular stores fashioned out of recycled shipping containers.
The company is reportedly introducing its container store concept in several U.S. cities, including Seattle, Portland, Ore., Denver, Salt Lake City and Chicago. It touts the move as both a way to promote and enhance sustainability as well as to cater to the growing demand for drive-thru stores.
"Drive-thru locations are a fast-growing, highly profitable format for Starbucks," a company spokesperson told rd+d. "The new modern modular stores, which leverage used shipping containers or other pre-fabricated materials, are a reflection of our ongoing desire to be innovative in our design, thoughtful of our environmental impact and locally relevant for the communities we serve. We know that we have the unique opportunity to use our global scale for good and by designing stores with this sensibility, we're able to take innovative new concepts and successfully bring them to market."
Starbucks can assemble the containers off-premise and lower them onto a foundation at the commercial site in a matter of hours. The modular stores range from 365 to 700 square feet.