This article published December 2015. For latest news THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Starbucks opens flagship store and removes cash registers

Starbucks’ flagship store in Covent Garden is now open.

Acting on behalf of the Landlord Welput, boutique commercial letting agency Bruce Gillingham Pollard leased the ground floor unit of Orion House to the American coffee barista for its new concept, where past meets present.

There is no queue at a cash register at the site – instead, customers are greeted by a host, who will invite them to sit down and relax or quickly get coffee for take-away. “Customers can order wherever and whenever they want through handheld devices. We hope to reduce the idea of standing in line,” said Ad de Hond, Starbucks vice president of design.

An open kitchen will offer a menu of freshly prepared food for breakfast, lunch and evenings. Floor-to-ceiling walls of glass visually link the interior to the street outside. Inspired by the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, the store immerses customers in the world of coffee. All baristas are certified Coffee Masters, who handcraft espresso beverages from a manual Black Eagle espresso machine. Upper St Martin’s Lane will also serve specialty beverages such as Shakerato, Sparkling Mint Espresso, and flights of coffee to allow customers to do side-by-side tastings of coffees from around the world.

The store also takes design cues from Orion House Tower above, a 16-story postmodern high-rise of glass and steel that is home to Bruce Gillingham Pollard. High tech features include wireless charging and communication through digital menu boards and wall projections. The Upper St Martin’s Lane store is the UK’s second Starbucks Evenings location, serving a curated menu of wine and craft beer after 4pm.

Speaking about the new flagship, Tracey Pollard of Bruce Gillingham Pollard said: “To enhance the consumers experience, retailers and restaurateurs need to bring technology into their stores to create a streamline experience. The new Starbucks flagship does exactly this with their high tech features; something we look forward to using.”

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