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Starbucks Reuses Shipping Containers in Seattle Store Test

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 12, 2011 12:28 PM

Starbucks is ending the year on a high note: it's expanding in China, booming on mobile, and making good on its sustainability promise with a recycled design experiment. The company's hometown of Seattle will see the brand's first location made of "up-cycled" building materials — specifically, four used shipping containers, a hot commodity in architecture and design circles these days.

Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz told the New York Times that the eco-friendly concept may lead to more container stores (not to be confused with The Container Store). It will also be one of a kind for another reason, the first "among the 17,000 Starbucks stores globally in that it will be drive-up and walk-up only with no space to lounge inside."

In another plus, the drive-through location will be mobile — as in portable, Hilowitz said, so easy to break it down and move to another location. “We see a lot of opportunities here,” he added. “We can put a store like this on a lot that will be developed someday but is free for two or three years, and then we can move it.”

The company was motivated by the idea of not letting the containers it uses for importing tea and coffee just sit and go to waste, he added.

Despite appealing to drivers (bound to get boos from environmentalists; perhaps there will be a discount for walk-up and cycle-up customers?), the store also intends to inspire customers to get their green on.

As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports, "A font familiar to Starbucks customers covers the side of one of the support containers: 'Regenerate, Reuse, Recycle, Renew, Reclaim.' (You get the idea. Lots of environmentally friendly “R” words.)"

And true to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's commitment to job creation, the location is already hiring!

Check out more images of Starbucks' first container-based store, courtesy of SeattlePI.com — 


Buffy@ydr.com United States says:

Interesting idea. I love when peeps take something used and make something new out of it. I did this just last week with Starbucks cardboard coffee sleeve. I turned the sleeve into a napkin holder and two gift tags. Here's the video link in case you want to see it. Don't laugh, though. It's the first video I've ever done! Thanks for sharing.


December 12, 2011 01:41 PM #

Geoffrey United States says:

Job creation? ha.  What about all those Seattle coffee carts Starbucks put out of business when it pushed legislation that made it impossible to operate without a health violation?

December 12, 2011 01:42 PM #

S. Brady United States says:

Wasn't aware of that - link?

December 12, 2011 02:16 PM #

Comments are closed

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