Sorry for another posting about Starbucks but I find this developing story very interesting. You can read the entire article here.

In a stoke of marketing genius or stupidity, Starbucks is opening stores that are not Starbucks stores as we know them. The stores are being designed to integrate totally with the neighborhoods they are in and may even sell beer and wine in the evening. The problem, allegedly, is that they are integrating into the communities by “being inspired by” the exact colors, interiors and fixtures of their neighbors.

This story intrigues me on many levels. One, a Starbucks that is not a Starbucks? Second, coffee in the morning after lunch and now drinks at night?And lastly, are they “copying”  decor?

It is this last bit that I am  most interested in. Granted, all I have seen are the pictures on the news and in the papers but the Starbucks facade does look like the same color as the neighboring pub. If true I would be very surprised. I know how talented the designers are at Starbucks. Their skill level would allow them to easily develop a well integrated space that does not copy what is there. I know because they are doing it every day. Most of the Starbucks, while still branded as a Starbucks, incorporate many cues form the neighborhoods they are in.

So what do you think.  Do you like this idea?  Is it genius?  Is it not?  I would love to hear what other think about it.