Starbucks opens its first express format store in New York, an experiment in servicing commuter customers. New York moves at fast pace – whether in the boroughs, in The Bowery or on Broadway. Manhattan nearly doubles its population every day as commuters make their way into the city, according to the most recent U.S. Census data, and in the Financial District thousands of people flow through the narrow streets. For New Yorkers, it’s essential to save time and move quickly.


That’s why just across from the New York Stock Exchange, Starbucks is opening its first-ever express format store at 14 Wall Street. Most Starbucks stores are designed in layers, integrating community gathering spaces, working environments and immersive coffee experiences, all in one location. This new express format store will be one of the most streamlined experiences in the company’s portfolio.

This pilot project is tailored for customers on-the-go who want high-quality Starbucks products in a beautiful environment, coupled with the efficiency that comes with knowing what they want, quickly. Simply put, this format is the “espresso shot” version of the store experience Starbucks is known for.


A compact 538 square-foot location offered the team a unique challenge of maximizing the space while making sure customers had a fast, convenient experience. Getting this right meant starting from the beginning where, upon entry, customers are greeted by a Starbucks employee who will be able to take orders with a handheld device. Creating mobile point-of-sale positions throughout the store can help manage wait times. That’s a solution first put into place at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, and is now leveraged for this express format store.


Moving through the space, to the right of the entry, customers see a digital menu board displayed on four low-glare monitors. A set of menu options, tailored for New York customers, rotates on the screens. This display also serves as a form of art at night with glowing images of coffee farms shining through the front window.

Hanging above, where the menu would traditionally be, is artwork made from hot-rolled steel with a black patina finish and a laser-etched coffee tree design. Combined with the horizontal wood paneling on the walls and ceiling, this artistic focal point creates a sense of depth.

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all images courtesy of STARBUCKS