Starbucks opens first European concept store in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM , March 6, 2012 (press release) – Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) proudly announces the opening of its first concept store in Europe in the center of Amsterdam on Friday, March 9. The store is located in the vault of the historic Amsterdamsche Bank, a landmark building on Amsterdam’s famous Rembrandt Square. Spanning 430 square meters (4,50o sqf), it is the largest Starbucks store in Europe. With its radical design departure and ‘Slow’ Coffee Theatre, it offers a new experience for coffee, design and food innovation.

Concept Design

This magnificent space takes Starbucks store design strategy to the next level. It gives customers new opportunities for discovery, a high level of interaction, and a deep connection to coffee and the local community. Concepted as a theatre space with the 17 meter (57 foot) coffee bar as its stage, the multi-level community areas will cameo as stages for local bands, poetry readings and other cultural activities.

“With this store I was inspired not only by the role 17th century Dutch traders played in bringing coffee to the world, but also by the place The Netherlands holds today as a design and creative capital,” said Liz Muller, Concept Design director. “My vision was to bring the space to life by celebrating local history and tradition while looking to the future by giving it a sense of theatre and discovery.”

More than 35 local artists and craftspeople transformed the vault of the former bank into a modern masterpiece under the direction of Dutch-born Muller who was also the creative force behind the first three Starbucks concept stores that opened in Starbucks home town, Seattle, starting 2009.

As with all Starbucks concept stores, The Bank is a significant aesthetic departure, kitted with witty local design touches and built with sustainable materials. Among other things, it features a floor-to-ceiling ‘tattooed’ mural celebrating the history of Dutch coffee traders, repurposed Dutch oak throughout the space, antique Delft blue tiles, a ceiling sculpture created from 1,876 hand-cut wooden blocks, and a wall clad in recycled bicycle inner tubes. It was built under strict Leed® sustainable building guidelines to reduce the impact on the environment.

The Laboratory

The store will function as a test space for rare and exclusive coffees, diverse coffee brewing methods, and new food concepts.

The ‘Slow’ Coffee Theatre is inspired by the ‘Slow’ Food movement as it will deliver a super-premium, personal coffee experience. It will be the first store in continental Europe to serve Starbucks Reserve®, a premium line of single-origin coffees featuring some of the world’s rarest, most exotic and exquisite coffees. It will also debut Starbucks first Clover® brewing system in Europe. The Clover® brewing system is one of the most significant innovations in coffee brewing since the introduction of the espresso machine. Starbucks -The Bank will also feature new food concepts including in-store baking, accompanied by tweets when fresh hot cookies roll out of the oven. What works at The Bank will make its way to the rest of Europe.

“This store is the ultimate expression of coffee, design and community at its best,” said Rich Nelsen, senior vice president of Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa. We strategically placed our first European concept store in Amsterdam as our European headquarters and roasting plant are located here.”

Starbucks employs more than 200 partners (employees) at its European headquarters and roasting plant. All Starbucks coffees in Europe, Middle East and Africa are roasted, packaged, and distributed in Amsterdam.

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