A drive-through in the Denver suburbs made out of repurposed lumber and shipping containers
A tour with Rubinfeld through Seattle showcases the new approach: A wall in the café on Amazon's corporate campus is constructed out of used bicycle tire tubes; at the University Village shopping center, chalkboards came from an old school. And now Starbucks is rolling out a store format that takes Rubinfeld's repurposing principles further -- with store structures made from old shipping containers. The initiative is part of the company's greater push into drive-throughs, an area CEO Howard Schultz has highlighted as a key growth opportunity. Some 60% of all new U.S. stores that Starbucks (No. 208 on the Fortune 500) has planned for the next five years will be drive-throughs. While the company won't say how many it will build from shipping containers, Rubinfeld envisions hundreds.
Some of the container locations will be what Starbucks is calling micro drive-throughs. At just about 380 square feet, the micros will be among the smallest Starbucks sites in existence. The tiny footprint lets the company enter high-traffic locations previously out of reach. Starbucks' other container format -- one stacked on top of the other -- will provide drive-through and walk-up service. These "hammerheads," in Starbucks parlance, are about 550 square feet. Portland will get a container hammerhead later this month on a main bicycling thoroughfare, so it will have a walk-up window, bike racks, and a big patio for all the walkers and bikers. The design of each store is meant to reflect its surroundings.
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