Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go in Midtown Manhattan
Starbucks is opening a pick-up cafe in downtown Manhattan with Amazon that uses the technology of the cashless retail giant to attract busy consumers who want to buy coffee or snacks quickly.
The partnership with Amazon is the latest step in Starbucks’ plan to adapt its locations to new consumer habits. Nearly a year and a half ago, Starbucks announced that it was accelerating plans to renew its U.S. footprint, inspired by the pandemic’s sudden shifts in how consumers want to buy and drink their coffee. In addition to closing up to 400 stores in 18 months, the strategy included opening more pickup locations in crowded urban markets and installing large windows and double driveways for cars in suburban areas.
The first Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go opened Thursday in New York City at 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, with the flag outside waving the two companies’ logos. The Seattle-based companies plan to open at least two more locations together over the next year. The second coffee shop will also be in Midtown Manhattan, in the New York Times Building located at 40th Street and 8th Street.
“It’s a proof of concept that we’re both learning from,” said Catherine Young, Senior Vice President of Global Growth and Development for Starbucks.
Young declined to provide further details about how long Starbucks and Amazon have worked together.
When customers enter the new store, they’ll first see a counter to pick up drinks they’ve pre-ordered using the Starbucks mobile app. The digital display hanging above the counter shows which orders are still being served by the coffee maker.
Customers can scan an in-store code from the Amazon app to access the rest of the store
To take advantage of the convenience of Amazon Go technology, customers will have to use an in-store code from the Amazon app, enter their credit card or just the palm of their hand – if they are already registered with amazon. A kiosk near the entry allows customers to join Amazon One by inserting a credit card and scanning their hands.
Starbucks employees are nearby to assist customers as they enter, although some consumers may already be familiar with the technology. Amazon already operates a few Go stores in Manhattan, including one just blocks from the new coffee shop.
Customers can shop for food at Amazon Go Marketplace inside Starbucks Coffee
Refrigerated shelves and displays in the store’s Amazon Go Market section feature a variety of dining options, including Starbucks classics, takeout salads and sandwiches from the Amazon Kitchen, and items from local favorites like Dominique Ansel, Ess-a-Bagel, and Magnolia Bakery. The store also sells items that are common in convenience store checkout lines, such as protein bars and packs of gum.
Amazon Go technology means that customers don’t have to checkout with the cashier to pay. Instead, scales, cameras, and rack sensors work to calculate customer totals and charge them as they leave the store.
“You don’t have to wait to stand in line and pay,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president of physical retail and technology at Amazon.
Seating area at Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go store
Alongside the food offerings is seating, with large meeting booths and individual food booths for clients who may be working remotely or studying. They can order their coffee to be refilled through the Starbucks app or with a barista at the counter.
“We designed this experience to fit the needs of people as they go about their day,” Kumar said. “Sometimes you’re in a hurry, some days you have more time.”
The location will have longer hours than a typical Starbucks, remaining open until 10pm on weekdays and 9pm on weekends.