STORE SPACES

Starbucks opens new retail concept—complete with a bar

BY Marianne Wilson

Starbucks Corp. has entered the bakery/café space—for the second time.

On Tuesday, the coffee giant opened its first-ever standalone Princi bakery and café, in downtown Seattle. Princi, which operates stores across Milan and in London’s SoHo neighborhood, is the exclusive food supplier in all Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations. The opening comes several years after Starbucks closed all 23 locations of La Boulange, a bakery chain it acquired in 2013 for $100 million.

Similar to Princi’s European stores, the new Seattle location is centered around ovens that bake food on site. Menu items range from baked goods and pizza to focaccia sandwiches, and all feature ingredients imported from Italy. Menu offerings will shift throughout the day, and in the afternoon, traditional Italian aperitivo, including cocktails, beer, wine and spirits will be available.

“When you first walk into a Princi bakery, you’re suddenly hit by the energy, the theater, the smell,” said Christian Davies, Starbucks VP, creative global design & innovation. “Your first impression is the abundance and seduction of food. That’s what we’re trying to create with a distinctly Italian look and feel to bring that passion to life.”

Davies and the design team took inspiration from Princi’s original Milan bakery and the nearby Starbucks Reserve Roastery, using natural materials and earth-colored stone. In every element of the space, the team tried to express Princi’s commitment to craftsmanship, from the hand-blown glass light fixtures to the hand-rubbed plaster on the walls.

Additional standalone Princi locations are expected to open this fall in Chicago and New York.

The new location also makes Seattle the first city in the United States to feature a Reserve Roastery, a Reserve store, Starbucks stores with a Reserve coffee bar, and a Princi stand-alone store, according to Starbucks.

In 2016, the coffee giant became an investor and global licensee of the business, with plans to expand Princi bakeries into international markets. Starbucks opened its first United States-based Princi location at its Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle in November. The coffee giant plans to continue expanding the concept to all new Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations, including in stores planned for Milan, New York, Tokyo and Chicago, according to the company.

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STORE SPACES

‘Store of the Future’ predictions involve pop-ups—and no checkouts

BY Marianne Wilson

Competition, convenience and checkout technology are shaping the grocery “store of the future.”

That’s according to a report by Phononic, which surveyed more than 200 executives across the United States that work in the grocery and food retail space, including traditional supermarkets, convenience stores and big box retailers that sell groceries. (The study mirrors many of the concepts examined in Phononic’s “Store of the Future” survey of shoppers conducted earlier this year.)

Looking ahead five years, 85% of retail executives said it is likely more physical stores will be offering ways to auto-replenish basics, and 81% said it is likely that there will be pop-up supermarkets in urban and rural areas to make it easier to shop. Almost two-thirds expect supermarkets to become more of a community social gathering place with bars and restaurants (65%). And 64% predict the majority of supermarkets will be checkout free.

In addition, over half of executives (53%) say that over the next five years it’s likely that frozen and refrigerated goods will be distributed throughout stores, rather than just at the back of the store; and 74% believe sales of frozen foods will continue to rise in popularity.

In other findings:

• When asked to identify the biggest grocery disruptors, over half of food retail executives (54%) pointed to Amazon, 41% identified Walmart, and 25% said online food delivery services, while smaller numbers believe it’s Kroger 10% and Target 8%.

• Three in five food retail executives (60%) say their organization invests enough in in-store technology, and 70% say that when it comes to implementing new technologies to improve customer experiences, their organization is proactive.

• However, 49% of food retail executives say grocery stores haven’t yet figured out how to use technology like other retailers have. Half of consumers (50%) agreed with this statement.

• Eighty-seven percent of executives say they have worked a great deal to create an optimized store layout; 72% believe the grocery store layout is changing to accommodate micro-visits.

• At the checkout counter, over half of food retail executives say offering more prepared grab and go meals would perform best.

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STORE SPACES

Innovative supermarket looks to nourish neighborhood from ‘inside out’

BY Marianne Wilson

North Market puts an innovative spin on supermarket retailing.

Built with the community, for the community, North Market combines a full-service, approximate 16,000-sq.-ft. grocery store with a community space as well as a clinic space for health and wellness services — all under one roof. The project was designed by Minneapolis-based Knock, in partnership with LSE Architects, which transformed a vacant building into a vibrant and colorful space.

North Market is owned and operated by Minneapolis-based non-profit organization Pillsbury United Communities as an independent, self-sustaining social enterprise. It is located in the Webber Park neighborhood of north Minneapolis, a low-income area that has been federally designated as a food desert. Prior to North Market’s opening, the community was served by 36 corner-style convenience store and only one supermarket.

North Market aims to serve the local community from the inside out. With an emphasis on nutrition and healthy eating, it is a hub for community health, offering regular wellness events and education.

Approximately half of the grocery stock in North Market is supplied by Supervalu, with the remaining coming from local produce, meat and dairy suppliers. Products made in North Minneapolis are given dedicated shelf space. North Memorial provides health services on nutrition and pharmaceutical management.

In designing North Market, Knock engaged the surrounding community to create a design that would most resonate with them and meet their needs. The color orange, for example, which is dominant throughout the space, was selected as Knock found it resonated deeper with the roots of African-American and Latinx cultures.

The project was funded by various philanthropic and corporate partners, with Cargill Foundation and Otto Bremer Trust two of the biggest funders. Others include General Mills, who has also provided in-kind support, and Target. The biggest donor to the project, however, was the State of Minnesota.

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