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 —