Starbucks rolls the dice on unconventional Vegas location
There is perhaps no place in the U.S. as synonymous with ostentatious presentation and over-the-top stunts as Las Vegas—a fact that Starbucks intends to use to its advantage with its entirely unique one-off store on the Vegas Strip.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the store, which is currently under construction, will differ dramatically from the well-known look and feel of any of Starbucks’s 21,000 existing locations. The newspaper describes the location as having three-tiered stadium-style walnut-bench seating that will hold 36 customers. It will be decorated with a one-of-a-kind mural and feature a 150-square-foot miniature movie screen for customers the view. There will also be a patio, which will be accessible by a 24-foot wide glass door with eight folding panels.
"It’s about the experience. The Strip is known for its oddity of experience," Dave Teator, senior project manager with the store’s general contractor, told the Review-Journal. "You’re not going to go to another Starbucks anywhere and see this. It’s unique to the retail brand."
But one wonders if what happens in the Las Vegas Strip Starbucks will stay in Vegas, or if we will someday see stadium seating and movie theaters making their ways to other Starbucks locations.
While the offbeat Vegas store is entirely unique, Starbucks has experimented with formats that diverge from its main brand identity in the past. For instance, "Stealth Starbucks" locations, which are owned and operated by Starbucks, but are unmarked as such, appear as neighborhood coffee places with no Starbucks branding. They have allowed Starbucks to implement features in those stores the company doesn’t necessarily want associated with its iconic logo, which may affect the public’s perception of the chain.
The Las Vegas Strip location is also not the first time Starbucks has tried to absorb some of the local Vegas ambiance into their store design. The Starbucks website indicates that in 2011 store designer Justine McHart "was tapped to build the Starbucks brand presence on the [Las Vegas] Strip with distinctive new licensed store designs" for the more than 30 regular Starbucks stores in the area.
"On the Las Vegas Strip, a customer can literally see all 35 stores in one visit, so it’s really important to differentiate each one," Ms. McHart said on the website. "We want people to feel the difference and generate buzz about our stores."
- Las Vegas Strip Starbucks will be one of a kind – Las Vegas Review-Journal
- Are Stealth Starbucks locations misleading customers? – RetailWire
- Virtual Road Trip: Starbucks Stores Shine Among the Bright Lights of Las Vegas – Starbucks.com
Will the Las Vegas Strip Starbucks experience offer valuable insights to the company or lead to confusion and brand dilution? Would other retailers benefit from one-off locations in big tourist destinations like Las Vegas?