News

Starbucks Redesign Puts Emphasis on Sustainability

BY Marianne Wilson

There is nothing cookie-cutter about Starbucks’ renovated store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. The 15-year-old store has undergone a complete makeover, from the furniture to the lighting to the flooring. The new environment reflects Starbucks’ commitment to build stores that reflect the character of the surrounding community. Warm and earthy, with industrial accents and commissioned art, the SoHo location feels real and authentic.

“Everything from the chairs to the smaller cafe tables were chosen to create a more intimate environment for our customers,” said Tim Pfeiffer, senior VP global design, Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle. “There is soft seating in every seat, with the exception of the bar stools.”

The design, done in-house, draws upon SoHo’s rich heritage and its vibrant arts and cultural scene. Among the visual highlights are two large paintings by New York “messaging” artist Peter Tunney. In keeping with Starbucks’ overall mission, words such as “gratitude” and “peace “ are integrated into the collage-styled paintings. A series of evocative black and white photos behind the counter show scenes from the communities scattered around the globe where Starbucks’ beans are farmed.

“For the first time, we are providing a visual story of where our coffee comes from,” Pfeiffer said.

GREEN: The store is one of 12 pilot locations worldwide that Starbucks is opening as part of its participation in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Volume Certification pilot program. In keeping with LEED standards, the design emphasizes energy and water conservation, locally sourced materials, and reused and recycled elements.

Small plaques identifying specific green design and construction elements are located throughout the store. The plaques identify specific green-design elements and also offer related tips for consumers.

“They’re subtle,” said Jim Hanna, director of environmental impact, Starbucks. “We want to inform customers about our own environmental efforts, and we also want to motivate them to make environmentally responsible choices once they leave our stores.”

Hanna emphasized that LEED certification in and of itself has never been Starbucks’ goal.

“Our goal is creating sustainable and engaging stores that are relevant to the community, and then getting third-party recognition for our efforts,” he said.

As to the extra cost involved in building green, Hanna estimated a 1% premium in design and construction costs. He noted, however, that the extra upfront cost is outweighed by “massive” operational savings.

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FINANCE

Tiffany’s Q1 profit sparkles

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Tiffany & Co.’s net income more than doubled in the first quarter as its revenue rose in the United States and soared 50% in Asia, the company said Thursday.

The jeweler said it earned $64.4 million in the three months ended April 30. That compares with $24.3 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 22% to $633.6 million.

Revenue in the Americas increased 22% to $315.3 million, versus a 31% drop in the year-ago period. Adjusted for currency fluctuations, revenue rose 20%, and same-store sales rose 15%, led by the flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue, where the figure rose 26%.

In the Asia-Pacific region, which doesn’t include Japan, Tiffany’s revenue soared 50% to $122.3 million. During the first quarter, the company opened its third store in Shanghai; by the end of the period, it operated 11 stores in China. Company officials said that they plan to have a total of 30 stores in China within the next five years.

In Japan, revenue slipped 2% to $115 million. Business in Europe rose 25% to $68.6 million.

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News

Best Buy Mobile enhances Web site

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy Mobile has annouced the re-launch of BestBuy.com/Mobile. According to the company, the new Web site will include such new features as online purchasing and Instant Ship, the new online hub offers convenient, customer-focused solutions for on-the-go gadget shoppers.

Through the new Web site, customers can now purchase a mobile phone online and have it shipped to their home or they can pick it up in-store. For customers needing assistance while choosing their phone online, Best Buy Mobile has a dedicated call center to respond.

 

“The capabilities within the enhanced site in combination with our in-store experience give Best Buy something completely and totally unique in the mobile phone marketplace,” said Shawn Score, president of Best Buy Mobile. “Now, we are truly a multi-channel mobile phone retailer supporting customers when and where they choose to engage us.”

 

Best Buy’s Mobile Web site provides customers with a larger range of functions, which include:

    * Online purchases: Customers can purchase a mobile phone with a contract using online channels. Customers place their order, and can then choose to pick up in store or have their new phone shipped directly to their home.    * Instant Ship: With Instant Ship, if a customer comes in and is qualified for a device that is not available in-store, the device can be ordered and shipped directly from the Web site. Instant Ship online improves the options of phones and colors for customers, and allows customers to have their new handset delivered right to their home.

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