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The Seattle Times reports that Starbucks has decided where to open the first of 1,000 planned high-end Reserve stores - the lobby of its headquarters in Seattle.

The story notes that "the Reserve stores — which will serve Starbucks’ premium, small-lot coffee beans, brewed in a variety of methods, along with food from Italian bakery Princi — are a new store format for Starbucks and represent a key part of the coffee giant’s strategy to capture the high-end of the coffee market."

The existing store in the lobby "will close April 7 for broader headquarters renovations and to make way for the new store, which will open this fall, according to an email sent to Starbucks employees working at corporate headquarters."

Starbucks' headquarters also is going to see another innovation - the opening of its "first location at which customers can only order via Starbucks’ mobile ordering system ... The company will be putting in the mobile order-and-pay-only location on the eighth floor of its headquarters building, across from the existing Starbucks store there. The existing store is one of the company’s top three mobile-ordering sites in the United States, according to the email to employees."

The concept is designed to see if Starbucks can find a way to address concerns that mobile ordering has become so successful in some locations that it creates congestion in stores where people also want to walk in and place their orders in more traditional fashion.
KC's View:
I love the idea of a mobile-ordering-only store, and can imagine a time when in certain locations this will be precisely the best way to address the congestion issue. As for the Reserve store at headquarters ... I just hope that the folks at Starbucks don't fall so in love with the new shiny object that they forget about the engine that drives the train. I don't think they will, but it has happened to other companies and it is something about which they need to be vigilant.