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Starbucks Introduces Coffee Vending Machines for the Office

Starbucks Introduces Coffee Vending Machines for the Office

Self-serve Starbucks kiosks take over offices

Starbucks and Selecta, a European vending machine company, are going to introduce a Starbucks vending machine for office spaces in Switzerland, starting this fall.

There’s no doubt that Starbucks is everywhere. With a café on every street corner and bags of coffee in every grocery store, one might think that there’s no one place Starbucks has yet infiltrate. Even your office will soon be Starbucks' domain.

Starbucks plans to team up with the European self-serve coffee company, Selecta, to install coffee vending machines into Swiss offices starting this fall. They’ll be offering three different models: the mini-table top coffee maker (it looks like a Keurig), a stand-alone floor model, and an integrated, corner-coffee machine. The drink selections, which will be just as customizable as they are in the store, will range from the classic latte to hot chocolate and tea.

Starbucks opened its first store in Switzerland 10 years ago and currently boats 50 in the country. If the product is successful in Switzerland, Selecta may bring it to other European countries and possibly the US. Costa, a prominent UK café, has had a great deal of success with its Costa Express machines that debuted last year. It’s just another step closer for Starbucks to say that they truly are everywhere.

(Photo Modified: Flickr/d'n'c/CC 4.0)


Starbucks to redesign shops

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Starbucks stopped being cool. When they first opened in the UK they had all the West Coast messenger bag asymmetric hair and hipster chic a cool-starved Brit could ever want. For years, coffee had meant a choice between mum's Mellow Birds and the caustic brewed filth from the salmonella-ridden vending machine in the corner of the office.

Now, suddenly, it meant being served ludicrously cool confections by cute staff with piercings and blackwork. It meant 'hanging out' for hours without being tutted at by a waitress. It meant off-site meetings and muffins and it meant sitting alone in a corner with a laptop Mac and looking like you had a blockbuster screenplay in your head rather than an impossible dream of ever getting a date.

Then it all went to hell. As the shops proliferated, their bright, studiedly informal interiors began to look like cynical clones, the staff quietly morphed from stunning resting-between-jobs actresses into stunned looking minimum-wage droids with thousand yard stares, and everything began to smell of sour milk. What had once looked like the brightest of futures began to look like McDonald's.

Well it seems that Starbucks, faced with a global financial crisis, a million cookie-cutter, flavoured-milk bars, and a customer base of retired hipsters heaving a great 'whatever' about their increasingly dreadful product, have finally caught on. Yes, the company that was never going to fall for any of that tired corporate shit, daddio, has finally twigged that they need to make their shops … less corporate.

As Phoebe would have said: "Well . duh!"

What actually happened at Starbucks was a well-worn path for an iconoclastic, upstart, paradigm-busting 'fast' company. Like Gap, Ben and Jerry's, Whole Foods, Innocent and Snapple, what had begun as an it's-fun-to-work-here, we-all-love-what-we-do, no-suits-and-ties-for-us, hippie love-in became first financially successful and then an old-school global corporate behemoth. It seems Malcolm McClaren was right when he said "Never trust a hippie".

According to recent releases both from the Seattle Death Star and UK corporate HQ, Starbucks is going to change its image with a raft of carefully selected authenticity cues. The centrally dictated colour palette and drear interiors will be smartened up with local artefacts, community noticeboards and possibly, whisper it low, second-hand furniture.

As part of a "rebranding" initiative in the US, they've opened a new site in Seattle branded '15th Ave. Coffee and Tea Inspired by Starbucks', which is an awful precedent. Starbucks say there are no plans for that here, but what would happen if they changed their minds – your local lattemonger is suddenly draped with chintz and hangs out a sign for 'The Copper Kettle, Coffee 'n' Bun Shop (inspired by Starbucks)'?

Dear God in heaven say this isn't happening. Having globally screwed the pooch by turning the coffee shop from a calm refuge to a temple of Mammon, do they really think that giving it a make-over is going to endear it to anyone? We seem to be a community of fairly confirmed Starbucks rejecters, is there any chance this move is going to drag us back?

This article was amended on Monday 5 October 2009. Starbucks UK has asked us to make clear that Starbucks stores in the UK will be redesigned but it has no plans to expand its US rebranding programme to the UK: UK stores will retain the same name. This has been corrected.


Starbucks to redesign shops

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Starbucks stopped being cool. When they first opened in the UK they had all the West Coast messenger bag asymmetric hair and hipster chic a cool-starved Brit could ever want. For years, coffee had meant a choice between mum's Mellow Birds and the caustic brewed filth from the salmonella-ridden vending machine in the corner of the office.

Now, suddenly, it meant being served ludicrously cool confections by cute staff with piercings and blackwork. It meant 'hanging out' for hours without being tutted at by a waitress. It meant off-site meetings and muffins and it meant sitting alone in a corner with a laptop Mac and looking like you had a blockbuster screenplay in your head rather than an impossible dream of ever getting a date.

Then it all went to hell. As the shops proliferated, their bright, studiedly informal interiors began to look like cynical clones, the staff quietly morphed from stunning resting-between-jobs actresses into stunned looking minimum-wage droids with thousand yard stares, and everything began to smell of sour milk. What had once looked like the brightest of futures began to look like McDonald's.

Well it seems that Starbucks, faced with a global financial crisis, a million cookie-cutter, flavoured-milk bars, and a customer base of retired hipsters heaving a great 'whatever' about their increasingly dreadful product, have finally caught on. Yes, the company that was never going to fall for any of that tired corporate shit, daddio, has finally twigged that they need to make their shops … less corporate.

As Phoebe would have said: "Well . duh!"

What actually happened at Starbucks was a well-worn path for an iconoclastic, upstart, paradigm-busting 'fast' company. Like Gap, Ben and Jerry's, Whole Foods, Innocent and Snapple, what had begun as an it's-fun-to-work-here, we-all-love-what-we-do, no-suits-and-ties-for-us, hippie love-in became first financially successful and then an old-school global corporate behemoth. It seems Malcolm McClaren was right when he said "Never trust a hippie".

According to recent releases both from the Seattle Death Star and UK corporate HQ, Starbucks is going to change its image with a raft of carefully selected authenticity cues. The centrally dictated colour palette and drear interiors will be smartened up with local artefacts, community noticeboards and possibly, whisper it low, second-hand furniture.

As part of a "rebranding" initiative in the US, they've opened a new site in Seattle branded '15th Ave. Coffee and Tea Inspired by Starbucks', which is an awful precedent. Starbucks say there are no plans for that here, but what would happen if they changed their minds – your local lattemonger is suddenly draped with chintz and hangs out a sign for 'The Copper Kettle, Coffee 'n' Bun Shop (inspired by Starbucks)'?

Dear God in heaven say this isn't happening. Having globally screwed the pooch by turning the coffee shop from a calm refuge to a temple of Mammon, do they really think that giving it a make-over is going to endear it to anyone? We seem to be a community of fairly confirmed Starbucks rejecters, is there any chance this move is going to drag us back?

This article was amended on Monday 5 October 2009. Starbucks UK has asked us to make clear that Starbucks stores in the UK will be redesigned but it has no plans to expand its US rebranding programme to the UK: UK stores will retain the same name. This has been corrected.


Starbucks to redesign shops

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Starbucks stopped being cool. When they first opened in the UK they had all the West Coast messenger bag asymmetric hair and hipster chic a cool-starved Brit could ever want. For years, coffee had meant a choice between mum's Mellow Birds and the caustic brewed filth from the salmonella-ridden vending machine in the corner of the office.

Now, suddenly, it meant being served ludicrously cool confections by cute staff with piercings and blackwork. It meant 'hanging out' for hours without being tutted at by a waitress. It meant off-site meetings and muffins and it meant sitting alone in a corner with a laptop Mac and looking like you had a blockbuster screenplay in your head rather than an impossible dream of ever getting a date.

Then it all went to hell. As the shops proliferated, their bright, studiedly informal interiors began to look like cynical clones, the staff quietly morphed from stunning resting-between-jobs actresses into stunned looking minimum-wage droids with thousand yard stares, and everything began to smell of sour milk. What had once looked like the brightest of futures began to look like McDonald's.

Well it seems that Starbucks, faced with a global financial crisis, a million cookie-cutter, flavoured-milk bars, and a customer base of retired hipsters heaving a great 'whatever' about their increasingly dreadful product, have finally caught on. Yes, the company that was never going to fall for any of that tired corporate shit, daddio, has finally twigged that they need to make their shops … less corporate.

As Phoebe would have said: "Well . duh!"

What actually happened at Starbucks was a well-worn path for an iconoclastic, upstart, paradigm-busting 'fast' company. Like Gap, Ben and Jerry's, Whole Foods, Innocent and Snapple, what had begun as an it's-fun-to-work-here, we-all-love-what-we-do, no-suits-and-ties-for-us, hippie love-in became first financially successful and then an old-school global corporate behemoth. It seems Malcolm McClaren was right when he said "Never trust a hippie".

According to recent releases both from the Seattle Death Star and UK corporate HQ, Starbucks is going to change its image with a raft of carefully selected authenticity cues. The centrally dictated colour palette and drear interiors will be smartened up with local artefacts, community noticeboards and possibly, whisper it low, second-hand furniture.

As part of a "rebranding" initiative in the US, they've opened a new site in Seattle branded '15th Ave. Coffee and Tea Inspired by Starbucks', which is an awful precedent. Starbucks say there are no plans for that here, but what would happen if they changed their minds – your local lattemonger is suddenly draped with chintz and hangs out a sign for 'The Copper Kettle, Coffee 'n' Bun Shop (inspired by Starbucks)'?

Dear God in heaven say this isn't happening. Having globally screwed the pooch by turning the coffee shop from a calm refuge to a temple of Mammon, do they really think that giving it a make-over is going to endear it to anyone? We seem to be a community of fairly confirmed Starbucks rejecters, is there any chance this move is going to drag us back?

This article was amended on Monday 5 October 2009. Starbucks UK has asked us to make clear that Starbucks stores in the UK will be redesigned but it has no plans to expand its US rebranding programme to the UK: UK stores will retain the same name. This has been corrected.


Starbucks to redesign shops

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Starbucks stopped being cool. When they first opened in the UK they had all the West Coast messenger bag asymmetric hair and hipster chic a cool-starved Brit could ever want. For years, coffee had meant a choice between mum's Mellow Birds and the caustic brewed filth from the salmonella-ridden vending machine in the corner of the office.

Now, suddenly, it meant being served ludicrously cool confections by cute staff with piercings and blackwork. It meant 'hanging out' for hours without being tutted at by a waitress. It meant off-site meetings and muffins and it meant sitting alone in a corner with a laptop Mac and looking like you had a blockbuster screenplay in your head rather than an impossible dream of ever getting a date.

Then it all went to hell. As the shops proliferated, their bright, studiedly informal interiors began to look like cynical clones, the staff quietly morphed from stunning resting-between-jobs actresses into stunned looking minimum-wage droids with thousand yard stares, and everything began to smell of sour milk. What had once looked like the brightest of futures began to look like McDonald's.

Well it seems that Starbucks, faced with a global financial crisis, a million cookie-cutter, flavoured-milk bars, and a customer base of retired hipsters heaving a great 'whatever' about their increasingly dreadful product, have finally caught on. Yes, the company that was never going to fall for any of that tired corporate shit, daddio, has finally twigged that they need to make their shops … less corporate.

As Phoebe would have said: "Well . duh!"

What actually happened at Starbucks was a well-worn path for an iconoclastic, upstart, paradigm-busting 'fast' company. Like Gap, Ben and Jerry's, Whole Foods, Innocent and Snapple, what had begun as an it's-fun-to-work-here, we-all-love-what-we-do, no-suits-and-ties-for-us, hippie love-in became first financially successful and then an old-school global corporate behemoth. It seems Malcolm McClaren was right when he said "Never trust a hippie".

According to recent releases both from the Seattle Death Star and UK corporate HQ, Starbucks is going to change its image with a raft of carefully selected authenticity cues. The centrally dictated colour palette and drear interiors will be smartened up with local artefacts, community noticeboards and possibly, whisper it low, second-hand furniture.

As part of a "rebranding" initiative in the US, they've opened a new site in Seattle branded '15th Ave. Coffee and Tea Inspired by Starbucks', which is an awful precedent. Starbucks say there are no plans for that here, but what would happen if they changed their minds – your local lattemonger is suddenly draped with chintz and hangs out a sign for 'The Copper Kettle, Coffee 'n' Bun Shop (inspired by Starbucks)'?

Dear God in heaven say this isn't happening. Having globally screwed the pooch by turning the coffee shop from a calm refuge to a temple of Mammon, do they really think that giving it a make-over is going to endear it to anyone? We seem to be a community of fairly confirmed Starbucks rejecters, is there any chance this move is going to drag us back?

This article was amended on Monday 5 October 2009. Starbucks UK has asked us to make clear that Starbucks stores in the UK will be redesigned but it has no plans to expand its US rebranding programme to the UK: UK stores will retain the same name. This has been corrected.


Starbucks to redesign shops

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Starbucks stopped being cool. When they first opened in the UK they had all the West Coast messenger bag asymmetric hair and hipster chic a cool-starved Brit could ever want. For years, coffee had meant a choice between mum's Mellow Birds and the caustic brewed filth from the salmonella-ridden vending machine in the corner of the office.

Now, suddenly, it meant being served ludicrously cool confections by cute staff with piercings and blackwork. It meant 'hanging out' for hours without being tutted at by a waitress. It meant off-site meetings and muffins and it meant sitting alone in a corner with a laptop Mac and looking like you had a blockbuster screenplay in your head rather than an impossible dream of ever getting a date.

Then it all went to hell. As the shops proliferated, their bright, studiedly informal interiors began to look like cynical clones, the staff quietly morphed from stunning resting-between-jobs actresses into stunned looking minimum-wage droids with thousand yard stares, and everything began to smell of sour milk. What had once looked like the brightest of futures began to look like McDonald's.

Well it seems that Starbucks, faced with a global financial crisis, a million cookie-cutter, flavoured-milk bars, and a customer base of retired hipsters heaving a great 'whatever' about their increasingly dreadful product, have finally caught on. Yes, the company that was never going to fall for any of that tired corporate shit, daddio, has finally twigged that they need to make their shops … less corporate.

As Phoebe would have said: "Well . duh!"

What actually happened at Starbucks was a well-worn path for an iconoclastic, upstart, paradigm-busting 'fast' company. Like Gap, Ben and Jerry's, Whole Foods, Innocent and Snapple, what had begun as an it's-fun-to-work-here, we-all-love-what-we-do, no-suits-and-ties-for-us, hippie love-in became first financially successful and then an old-school global corporate behemoth. It seems Malcolm McClaren was right when he said "Never trust a hippie".

According to recent releases both from the Seattle Death Star and UK corporate HQ, Starbucks is going to change its image with a raft of carefully selected authenticity cues. The centrally dictated colour palette and drear interiors will be smartened up with local artefacts, community noticeboards and possibly, whisper it low, second-hand furniture.

As part of a "rebranding" initiative in the US, they've opened a new site in Seattle branded '15th Ave. Coffee and Tea Inspired by Starbucks', which is an awful precedent. Starbucks say there are no plans for that here, but what would happen if they changed their minds – your local lattemonger is suddenly draped with chintz and hangs out a sign for 'The Copper Kettle, Coffee 'n' Bun Shop (inspired by Starbucks)'?

Dear God in heaven say this isn't happening. Having globally screwed the pooch by turning the coffee shop from a calm refuge to a temple of Mammon, do they really think that giving it a make-over is going to endear it to anyone? We seem to be a community of fairly confirmed Starbucks rejecters, is there any chance this move is going to drag us back?

This article was amended on Monday 5 October 2009. Starbucks UK has asked us to make clear that Starbucks stores in the UK will be redesigned but it has no plans to expand its US rebranding programme to the UK: UK stores will retain the same name. This has been corrected.


Starbucks to redesign shops

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Starbucks stopped being cool. When they first opened in the UK they had all the West Coast messenger bag asymmetric hair and hipster chic a cool-starved Brit could ever want. For years, coffee had meant a choice between mum's Mellow Birds and the caustic brewed filth from the salmonella-ridden vending machine in the corner of the office.

Now, suddenly, it meant being served ludicrously cool confections by cute staff with piercings and blackwork. It meant 'hanging out' for hours without being tutted at by a waitress. It meant off-site meetings and muffins and it meant sitting alone in a corner with a laptop Mac and looking like you had a blockbuster screenplay in your head rather than an impossible dream of ever getting a date.

Then it all went to hell. As the shops proliferated, their bright, studiedly informal interiors began to look like cynical clones, the staff quietly morphed from stunning resting-between-jobs actresses into stunned looking minimum-wage droids with thousand yard stares, and everything began to smell of sour milk. What had once looked like the brightest of futures began to look like McDonald's.

Well it seems that Starbucks, faced with a global financial crisis, a million cookie-cutter, flavoured-milk bars, and a customer base of retired hipsters heaving a great 'whatever' about their increasingly dreadful product, have finally caught on. Yes, the company that was never going to fall for any of that tired corporate shit, daddio, has finally twigged that they need to make their shops … less corporate.

As Phoebe would have said: "Well . duh!"

What actually happened at Starbucks was a well-worn path for an iconoclastic, upstart, paradigm-busting 'fast' company. Like Gap, Ben and Jerry's, Whole Foods, Innocent and Snapple, what had begun as an it's-fun-to-work-here, we-all-love-what-we-do, no-suits-and-ties-for-us, hippie love-in became first financially successful and then an old-school global corporate behemoth. It seems Malcolm McClaren was right when he said "Never trust a hippie".

According to recent releases both from the Seattle Death Star and UK corporate HQ, Starbucks is going to change its image with a raft of carefully selected authenticity cues. The centrally dictated colour palette and drear interiors will be smartened up with local artefacts, community noticeboards and possibly, whisper it low, second-hand furniture.

As part of a "rebranding" initiative in the US, they've opened a new site in Seattle branded '15th Ave. Coffee and Tea Inspired by Starbucks', which is an awful precedent. Starbucks say there are no plans for that here, but what would happen if they changed their minds – your local lattemonger is suddenly draped with chintz and hangs out a sign for 'The Copper Kettle, Coffee 'n' Bun Shop (inspired by Starbucks)'?

Dear God in heaven say this isn't happening. Having globally screwed the pooch by turning the coffee shop from a calm refuge to a temple of Mammon, do they really think that giving it a make-over is going to endear it to anyone? We seem to be a community of fairly confirmed Starbucks rejecters, is there any chance this move is going to drag us back?

This article was amended on Monday 5 October 2009. Starbucks UK has asked us to make clear that Starbucks stores in the UK will be redesigned but it has no plans to expand its US rebranding programme to the UK: UK stores will retain the same name. This has been corrected.


Starbucks to redesign shops

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Starbucks stopped being cool. When they first opened in the UK they had all the West Coast messenger bag asymmetric hair and hipster chic a cool-starved Brit could ever want. For years, coffee had meant a choice between mum's Mellow Birds and the caustic brewed filth from the salmonella-ridden vending machine in the corner of the office.

Now, suddenly, it meant being served ludicrously cool confections by cute staff with piercings and blackwork. It meant 'hanging out' for hours without being tutted at by a waitress. It meant off-site meetings and muffins and it meant sitting alone in a corner with a laptop Mac and looking like you had a blockbuster screenplay in your head rather than an impossible dream of ever getting a date.

Then it all went to hell. As the shops proliferated, their bright, studiedly informal interiors began to look like cynical clones, the staff quietly morphed from stunning resting-between-jobs actresses into stunned looking minimum-wage droids with thousand yard stares, and everything began to smell of sour milk. What had once looked like the brightest of futures began to look like McDonald's.

Well it seems that Starbucks, faced with a global financial crisis, a million cookie-cutter, flavoured-milk bars, and a customer base of retired hipsters heaving a great 'whatever' about their increasingly dreadful product, have finally caught on. Yes, the company that was never going to fall for any of that tired corporate shit, daddio, has finally twigged that they need to make their shops … less corporate.

As Phoebe would have said: "Well . duh!"

What actually happened at Starbucks was a well-worn path for an iconoclastic, upstart, paradigm-busting 'fast' company. Like Gap, Ben and Jerry's, Whole Foods, Innocent and Snapple, what had begun as an it's-fun-to-work-here, we-all-love-what-we-do, no-suits-and-ties-for-us, hippie love-in became first financially successful and then an old-school global corporate behemoth. It seems Malcolm McClaren was right when he said "Never trust a hippie".

According to recent releases both from the Seattle Death Star and UK corporate HQ, Starbucks is going to change its image with a raft of carefully selected authenticity cues. The centrally dictated colour palette and drear interiors will be smartened up with local artefacts, community noticeboards and possibly, whisper it low, second-hand furniture.

As part of a "rebranding" initiative in the US, they've opened a new site in Seattle branded '15th Ave. Coffee and Tea Inspired by Starbucks', which is an awful precedent. Starbucks say there are no plans for that here, but what would happen if they changed their minds – your local lattemonger is suddenly draped with chintz and hangs out a sign for 'The Copper Kettle, Coffee 'n' Bun Shop (inspired by Starbucks)'?

Dear God in heaven say this isn't happening. Having globally screwed the pooch by turning the coffee shop from a calm refuge to a temple of Mammon, do they really think that giving it a make-over is going to endear it to anyone? We seem to be a community of fairly confirmed Starbucks rejecters, is there any chance this move is going to drag us back?

This article was amended on Monday 5 October 2009. Starbucks UK has asked us to make clear that Starbucks stores in the UK will be redesigned but it has no plans to expand its US rebranding programme to the UK: UK stores will retain the same name. This has been corrected.


Starbucks to redesign shops

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Starbucks stopped being cool. When they first opened in the UK they had all the West Coast messenger bag asymmetric hair and hipster chic a cool-starved Brit could ever want. For years, coffee had meant a choice between mum's Mellow Birds and the caustic brewed filth from the salmonella-ridden vending machine in the corner of the office.

Now, suddenly, it meant being served ludicrously cool confections by cute staff with piercings and blackwork. It meant 'hanging out' for hours without being tutted at by a waitress. It meant off-site meetings and muffins and it meant sitting alone in a corner with a laptop Mac and looking like you had a blockbuster screenplay in your head rather than an impossible dream of ever getting a date.

Then it all went to hell. As the shops proliferated, their bright, studiedly informal interiors began to look like cynical clones, the staff quietly morphed from stunning resting-between-jobs actresses into stunned looking minimum-wage droids with thousand yard stares, and everything began to smell of sour milk. What had once looked like the brightest of futures began to look like McDonald's.

Well it seems that Starbucks, faced with a global financial crisis, a million cookie-cutter, flavoured-milk bars, and a customer base of retired hipsters heaving a great 'whatever' about their increasingly dreadful product, have finally caught on. Yes, the company that was never going to fall for any of that tired corporate shit, daddio, has finally twigged that they need to make their shops … less corporate.

As Phoebe would have said: "Well . duh!"

What actually happened at Starbucks was a well-worn path for an iconoclastic, upstart, paradigm-busting 'fast' company. Like Gap, Ben and Jerry's, Whole Foods, Innocent and Snapple, what had begun as an it's-fun-to-work-here, we-all-love-what-we-do, no-suits-and-ties-for-us, hippie love-in became first financially successful and then an old-school global corporate behemoth. It seems Malcolm McClaren was right when he said "Never trust a hippie".

According to recent releases both from the Seattle Death Star and UK corporate HQ, Starbucks is going to change its image with a raft of carefully selected authenticity cues. The centrally dictated colour palette and drear interiors will be smartened up with local artefacts, community noticeboards and possibly, whisper it low, second-hand furniture.

As part of a "rebranding" initiative in the US, they've opened a new site in Seattle branded '15th Ave. Coffee and Tea Inspired by Starbucks', which is an awful precedent. Starbucks say there are no plans for that here, but what would happen if they changed their minds – your local lattemonger is suddenly draped with chintz and hangs out a sign for 'The Copper Kettle, Coffee 'n' Bun Shop (inspired by Starbucks)'?

Dear God in heaven say this isn't happening. Having globally screwed the pooch by turning the coffee shop from a calm refuge to a temple of Mammon, do they really think that giving it a make-over is going to endear it to anyone? We seem to be a community of fairly confirmed Starbucks rejecters, is there any chance this move is going to drag us back?

This article was amended on Monday 5 October 2009. Starbucks UK has asked us to make clear that Starbucks stores in the UK will be redesigned but it has no plans to expand its US rebranding programme to the UK: UK stores will retain the same name. This has been corrected.


Starbucks to redesign shops

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Starbucks stopped being cool. When they first opened in the UK they had all the West Coast messenger bag asymmetric hair and hipster chic a cool-starved Brit could ever want. For years, coffee had meant a choice between mum's Mellow Birds and the caustic brewed filth from the salmonella-ridden vending machine in the corner of the office.

Now, suddenly, it meant being served ludicrously cool confections by cute staff with piercings and blackwork. It meant 'hanging out' for hours without being tutted at by a waitress. It meant off-site meetings and muffins and it meant sitting alone in a corner with a laptop Mac and looking like you had a blockbuster screenplay in your head rather than an impossible dream of ever getting a date.

Then it all went to hell. As the shops proliferated, their bright, studiedly informal interiors began to look like cynical clones, the staff quietly morphed from stunning resting-between-jobs actresses into stunned looking minimum-wage droids with thousand yard stares, and everything began to smell of sour milk. What had once looked like the brightest of futures began to look like McDonald's.

Well it seems that Starbucks, faced with a global financial crisis, a million cookie-cutter, flavoured-milk bars, and a customer base of retired hipsters heaving a great 'whatever' about their increasingly dreadful product, have finally caught on. Yes, the company that was never going to fall for any of that tired corporate shit, daddio, has finally twigged that they need to make their shops … less corporate.

As Phoebe would have said: "Well . duh!"

What actually happened at Starbucks was a well-worn path for an iconoclastic, upstart, paradigm-busting 'fast' company. Like Gap, Ben and Jerry's, Whole Foods, Innocent and Snapple, what had begun as an it's-fun-to-work-here, we-all-love-what-we-do, no-suits-and-ties-for-us, hippie love-in became first financially successful and then an old-school global corporate behemoth. It seems Malcolm McClaren was right when he said "Never trust a hippie".

According to recent releases both from the Seattle Death Star and UK corporate HQ, Starbucks is going to change its image with a raft of carefully selected authenticity cues. The centrally dictated colour palette and drear interiors will be smartened up with local artefacts, community noticeboards and possibly, whisper it low, second-hand furniture.

As part of a "rebranding" initiative in the US, they've opened a new site in Seattle branded '15th Ave. Coffee and Tea Inspired by Starbucks', which is an awful precedent. Starbucks say there are no plans for that here, but what would happen if they changed their minds – your local lattemonger is suddenly draped with chintz and hangs out a sign for 'The Copper Kettle, Coffee 'n' Bun Shop (inspired by Starbucks)'?

Dear God in heaven say this isn't happening. Having globally screwed the pooch by turning the coffee shop from a calm refuge to a temple of Mammon, do they really think that giving it a make-over is going to endear it to anyone? We seem to be a community of fairly confirmed Starbucks rejecters, is there any chance this move is going to drag us back?

This article was amended on Monday 5 October 2009. Starbucks UK has asked us to make clear that Starbucks stores in the UK will be redesigned but it has no plans to expand its US rebranding programme to the UK: UK stores will retain the same name. This has been corrected.


Starbucks to redesign shops

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when Starbucks stopped being cool. When they first opened in the UK they had all the West Coast messenger bag asymmetric hair and hipster chic a cool-starved Brit could ever want. For years, coffee had meant a choice between mum's Mellow Birds and the caustic brewed filth from the salmonella-ridden vending machine in the corner of the office.

Now, suddenly, it meant being served ludicrously cool confections by cute staff with piercings and blackwork. It meant 'hanging out' for hours without being tutted at by a waitress. It meant off-site meetings and muffins and it meant sitting alone in a corner with a laptop Mac and looking like you had a blockbuster screenplay in your head rather than an impossible dream of ever getting a date.

Then it all went to hell. As the shops proliferated, their bright, studiedly informal interiors began to look like cynical clones, the staff quietly morphed from stunning resting-between-jobs actresses into stunned looking minimum-wage droids with thousand yard stares, and everything began to smell of sour milk. What had once looked like the brightest of futures began to look like McDonald's.

Well it seems that Starbucks, faced with a global financial crisis, a million cookie-cutter, flavoured-milk bars, and a customer base of retired hipsters heaving a great 'whatever' about their increasingly dreadful product, have finally caught on. Yes, the company that was never going to fall for any of that tired corporate shit, daddio, has finally twigged that they need to make their shops … less corporate.

As Phoebe would have said: "Well . duh!"

What actually happened at Starbucks was a well-worn path for an iconoclastic, upstart, paradigm-busting 'fast' company. Like Gap, Ben and Jerry's, Whole Foods, Innocent and Snapple, what had begun as an it's-fun-to-work-here, we-all-love-what-we-do, no-suits-and-ties-for-us, hippie love-in became first financially successful and then an old-school global corporate behemoth. It seems Malcolm McClaren was right when he said "Never trust a hippie".

According to recent releases both from the Seattle Death Star and UK corporate HQ, Starbucks is going to change its image with a raft of carefully selected authenticity cues. The centrally dictated colour palette and drear interiors will be smartened up with local artefacts, community noticeboards and possibly, whisper it low, second-hand furniture.

As part of a "rebranding" initiative in the US, they've opened a new site in Seattle branded '15th Ave. Coffee and Tea Inspired by Starbucks', which is an awful precedent. Starbucks say there are no plans for that here, but what would happen if they changed their minds – your local lattemonger is suddenly draped with chintz and hangs out a sign for 'The Copper Kettle, Coffee 'n' Bun Shop (inspired by Starbucks)'?

Dear God in heaven say this isn't happening. Having globally screwed the pooch by turning the coffee shop from a calm refuge to a temple of Mammon, do they really think that giving it a make-over is going to endear it to anyone? We seem to be a community of fairly confirmed Starbucks rejecters, is there any chance this move is going to drag us back?

This article was amended on Monday 5 October 2009. Starbucks UK has asked us to make clear that Starbucks stores in the UK will be redesigned but it has no plans to expand its US rebranding programme to the UK: UK stores will retain the same name. This has been corrected.