Starbucks, Amazon Expand Experiment in Hyper-Convenient Stores

The coffee and retail giants are trying to make it easier to shop and get coffee at the same time.

An experiment in making shopping and coffee buying extra convenient is expanding in New York City.

A second Starbucks  (SBUX) – Get Starbucks Corporation Report Pickup with Amazon Go  (AMZN) – Get Inc. Report opened Tuesday, July 12th in the New York Times building in Midtown, New York City.

The store is a combination of Starbucks Pickup and Amazon Go. The pickup feature allows a customer to order ahead in the Starbucks app and pick up their drink from the counter in-store. Amazon Go Just Walk Out technology lets customers scan items as they are placed in a cart or basket so they can walk out of the store having already paid and without having to go through a checkout with cashiers.

The store also features a modern lounge with tables that have USB ports and power outlets. The store has the same full Starbucks menu which includes cafe style food like croissants and sandwiches. The adjacent Amazon Go market has an assortment of food options like beverages, prepared salads and sandwiches, and snacks.

According to Starbucks, “The new store integrates the digital and physical retail experience, bringing together the connection and comfort of a Starbucks café and convenience of Amazon Go’s Just Walk Out Shopping experience.”

Seeking Hassle-Free Convenience

The stores are designed to bring comfort and utility to customers who have busy days or want a place to relax without having to interact with others or cashiers. 

To enter the Amazon Go market, customers can use the “In-Store Code” in the Amazon app, Amazon One or a credit card. They then shop in the Amazon Go market by placing items into their virtual cart. When the customer has completed shopping, they can enjoy a Starbucks drink or fresh item from the Amazon Go market. Once they leave the store, the customers will be charged. 

Starbucks has long sought to make its stores more convenient and less time-consuming for its customers. They pioneered mobile ordering and also opened pickup only stores starting in 2017. In that case, customers can only place orders through the app, for pickup in person. Many locations have drive-thrus, making a trip to Starbucks more convenient from your car. Some of its locations are cashless, designed to test how popular mobile ordering is. 

Rivals have replicated what Starbucks has done with its innovation for convenience and ease. Dunkin’ Donuts  (DNKN) – Get Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. Report often tracks Starbucks menu items, adding refreshers or similar sandwiches. It has also begun using mobile ordering and delivery services to compete with Starbucks.

A New Store is Planned

Starbucks and Amazon dIdn’t reveal how well their first joint location has done. The first store opened in mid-November 2021 also in New York City between Park and Lexington.

There are now plans to open a third Starbucks Pickup and Go location. The location of the new store and opening date have not been revealed as they are in the planning stages.

Not everyone may be open to the idea of cashless, cashier-less grocery stores and cafes, but it can’t be denied that Starbucks and Amazon are always among the first to test the future of technology waters. At least by using an app Starbucks won’t spell your name wrong!

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