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Starbucks Tests Upscale Design in Seattle, Speedy in New York

/ Source: Reuters

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Starbucks Corp on Friday announced two new types of stores aimed at capturing the growing demand for upscale reserve coffee and a separate test of an "express" store in Manhattan offering speedy service in a city where a "New York minute" is more like a nanosecond. The moves from the world's biggest coffee chain come as it faces growing competition from high-end craft coffee sellers such as Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Blue Bottle Coffee and Intelligentsia, as well as from fast-food chains ranging from McDonald's to Dunkin Donuts to newcomer Chick-fil-A.

Starbucks said it plans to open a "first of its kind" 15,000-square-foot small-batch reserve roastery in the hipster Capitol Hill neighborhood of its Seattle home market in December. The company will consolidate roasting of its reserve offerings, including Geisha and Jamaica Blue Mountain, in the facility. Starbucks also plans to test its first "express" store in Manhattan in 2015. The company said the New York store would be small and convenient, with a limited food and beverage menu. It will use digital payment and mobile ordering to speed up service.

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