Starbucks is to ditch its policy of standardised outlets, the Telegraph reports today.
Darcy Willson-Rymer, Starbucks' UK and Ireland managing director, admitted the company had made a mistake by homogenizing its brand.
He said: "I think we tried to put a bit too much process into the stores. We have to reflect what food the customers want. As we evolve our store design, we have to do it in a way that resonates with people. We have made mistakes in the past that we need to correct, but the fundamentals are fantastic."
His announcement comes after a consultation with the company's 9,000 UK staff on how to take the business forward and is in line with the company's strategy to become less corporate. In the US it has even launched an unbranded store in Seattle called 15th Ave. Coffee and Tea Inspired by Starbucks which also serves beers and wines.
The group's identikit approach has allowed it to rapidly roll out more than 16,000 outlets worldwide, but it is facing stiff competition in the UK from Costa Coffee, as well as from McDonald's and Wetherspoon pubs that offer cheaper coffee.
Revamped stores are likely to feature artifacts of local relevance, bolder colours, bigger community noticeboards and even second-hand furniture.
Starbucks is also testing porridge and carrot sticks in response to complaints about the high calorie content of its cakes and paninis.
Starbucks blames UK for flat international sales >>
By Emily Manson
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