Inside Starbuck’s New and Exciting Retail Strategy

Has anyone else noticed the overwhelmingly upgraded Starbucks interiors and improved green measures that seemed to have happened almost overnight? We did. And it’s no happy accident. Starbucks has confidently embarked upon a novel venture- a path towards sustainability and environmental awareness that has everyone pleasantly surprised. This eco-conscious green push paired with luxury leaves us air-clapping everywhere. This green evolution we didn’t always associate this mega-franchise with highlights a defining moment in history. It illustrates novel corporate environmental awareness and the active repair and redefinition of outdated and harmful business practices.

The Proof Is In The Pudding

We know what you’re thinking, can Starbucks truly have the planet’s best interests at heart? Well, apparently (and statistically), they do.

“According to John Kelly, SVP of global affairs and social impact, they could set Starbucks on a path toward greater conservation of resources. Kelly estimates that the program could divert around 50 million meals’ worth of food to people in need in the U.S. per year, and reduce water usage across its 10,000 “Greener Stores” by 30%.” -Fast Company 

How has Starbucks reached this widespread evolution and redesign you might ask? It’s simple; they’ve crafted an excellent retail strategy and sought guidance from the best in technology, infrastructure, and design upgrades.

“The Greener Stores Framework, as Starbucks is calling it, lays out six key standards the more sustainable stores must abide by, ranging from waste management tactics to design upgrades. And the company is making its new framework open-source, in the hopes that other retailers will follow their lead.” -Fast Company 

These six standards are as follows:


  • Energy and water conservation
  • Renewable energy
  • Responsible materials
  • Waste diversion
  • Healthy environments
  • Engagement


Today it’s no secret that the majority of people (that means us, too) want a top-quality experience with each monetary exchange and everywhere we go. That means every establishment visited from the moment we awake to the time we hit the hay must be in alignment with our expectations- after all, we are creatures of habit and comfort. With the latest and greatest in technology, there’s no reason to waste our invaluable time in uncomfortable experiences anymore.

For any and all businesses looking to follow by example, and jump on the eco (and financial growth) train, here’s a simple breakdown of how Starbucks redesigned their entire brand and brought their company into the ‘20s, in four key steps:

Inspired Interior Design

Our everyday collective environment is very important to us- our favorite coffee shop that begins our day, our hairdressers, the restaurants we dine at, the hotels we visit, the salons we frequent, our grocery stores, and our local cocktail bars. We’ll happily pay the extra cost of an aesthetically pleasing business over a less expensive underwhelming establishment. We are strikingly good these days at discerning businesses when choosing where to go. Because of this, interior design aesthetics has become a crucial, if not the crucial aspect responsible for drawing in customers and retaining positive client relationships.

Starbucks was not naive about this facet of business. In fact, we’re surprised they took as long as they did to upgrade their interiors in such a rapidly evolving market. What they did, was successfully redesign their interior stores and cafes to resemble chic, contemporary social parlors much like a hotel lounge- complete with stylish yet ultra-comfortable modern furniture, upgraded tables and flooring, and artistically inspired accent pieces, art, and enhanced lighting.

What’s more, Starbucks has intelligently personalized store interiors based on location-specific demographics, surrounding industries, and consumer relationships. They cater to the demands of their relative location. Because of this, they contacted us at Space Plus- A Division of The Sliding Door Company to integrate glass phone booth style solutions into a number of their stores in tech-heavy locations. They wanted to offer enclosed spaces in which customers could step away from the hustle and bustle of the open cafe to make a phone call, get some quick work done and enjoy some privacy amid a crowded store. These have become quite popular globally now, with room for 1 – 3 people to sit and collaborate or just have some much needed visual privacy. Our glass wall partitions and glass bifold door system worked great for their needs and we were happy to help attain their goal of added privacy as well as an increased personal interior design approach.

bi-fold door in a workplace setting


Convenience Driven Technologies

Starbucks has made strides in offering user-friendly technology within the past decade that all cater’s to the individual’s unique tastes, needs, and preferences. They consistently improve their app features, convenience-based online or in-app ordering systems and data collection to optimize customer experiences. With the growing consumer demand to know where our food and products come from, Starbucks rightly offered a super exciting app that actually allows the consumer to trace their beverage or food item back to it’s the source via a scan code, and see where it came from. This innovative “farm to cup” take on accountability garners them big trustworthy points amongst their customers and environmental/animal advocacy groups alike. They also offer competitive loyalty membership benefits that make you feel more appreciated and involved in the company.


Sliding glass door in a workplace

Pledging Green

Starbucks is currently making massive strides in their environmental impact reduction efforts and is moving forward with as much green gusto as possible. Their CEO is intent on setting a standard in green business, a model that he hopes other large franchise companies will soon follow. With this new and much-anticipated emphasis on sustainability, Starbucks is introducing things like no straws, investing in smart HVAC technologies for their stores, aiming to reduce their water usage by 30% by 2025 and diverting about 50 million meals worth of food to people in need in the U.S. alone through Food Share, a partnership with Feeding America. In addition to that, they plan to build education platforms to inform their partners and employees on sustainable practices during and outside of work. They pledge to only buy sustainably-sourced materials for any and all building needs, construction as well as for their packaging materials.

modernized starbucks locations with glass doors

We were very impressed with their ambitious changes and upgrades that Starbucks has recently made and continues to employ, and we hope to see more and more businesses follow suit in the months and years to come. Most companies have come to understand that by “going green”, it’s actually more economical than continuing down a path of unsustainability. It keeps the green in their pockets and works with our planet, rather than against it.

To upgrade your business, get on track with the green movement, and improve your interiors, consult us at Space Plus- the experts in commercial spatial optimization. For more exciting solutions and inspiration, visit Space Plus to browse our online viewing catalog and Get A Free Quote from one of our team members to actualize your design dream today.