Retailers typically try to achieve hyper-localization by altering the assortment in specific stores, so Starbucks’ novel approach to localization caught our eye. They’re designing the exterior of a new wave of stores to reflect the materials, attitudes, and styles of the area where the store is located. This Fast Co article explains the program. The new stores are smaller, modular, factory-built and assembled on-site, but their exteriors vary. The façade of a Colorado store is clad in Wyoming snow fencing, for example.
It will be interesting to see how the smaller footprint is received, it's basically designed for drive thru or walk-up, with no place to park yourself and your laptop. The company is also exploring ways to make the stores themselves “glow,” since lots of their business is done in the dark.
And speaking of other changes at Starbucks, we have just heard that another way they may achieve even great hyper-localization involves a pilot where completely automatic cameras access a customer’s age, gender and time in the store. Information collected via this system will serve as local store intelligence and allows for even more adjustments to be make in offerings, services and even store features.