Starbucks, the ubiquitous coffee chain who has struggled this past little while now that not as many people find spending five dollars every morning on coffee mixed with milk, have decided, along with their recent moves to make their offerings more healthy, to update their image a bit on the aesthetics and ethics fronts by heading in the LEED-certified direction. They’ll be redoing many of their company-owned shops with all sorts of green initiatives and building new ones from here on out using these new approaches from the start. We think it’s great that they’re moving toward being more green and that local contractors will be getting new work, but is a massively expensive undertaking like this the thing for a company during a major financial crisis? We’re not economists, so we don’t know how to answer our own questions, of course, so while we sit back and try to do the math, here’s a bit about the new shops:
While the new store designs are highly interpretive, they share several core characteristics, including use of local materials and craftsmanship, a focus on reused and recycled elements, exposure of structural integrity and authentic roots, a focus on coffee and removal of unnecessary distractions, customer engagement through all five senses, and flexibility to meet the needs of many customer types — individual readers and computer users, as well as work, study and social groups.