The Only Thing Left For Starbucks? To Just Stop Being Starbucks

Starbucks just keeps trying to reinvent itself — and it seems that they’ve tried everything. The only thing left to do is just to stop being Starbucks. So that’s what they’re doing.

The Seattle Times says that the ubiqitious coffee giant is testing several new stores in which there will be no Starbucks branding at all. Instead, the coffee shops will be branded with “community names,” like “15th Avenue Coffee and Tea,” in Seattle.

Not only will the coffee be rebranded with the “15th Ave.” name — the cafe will serve beer and wine and “host live music and poetry readings and sell espresso from a manual machine,” or, in other words, not be a Starbucks.

The article goes to describe corporate weirdos from Starbucks sending recon teams into actual coffee shops to see what they look like.

Seattle Coffee Works’s co-owner told the Seattle Times, “I said, ‘If you want to buy something that’s great, but just to look, that’s not cool,’ ” he recounted. “I called the PR department and said, ‘Never again.’ “

It gets weirder — the owner of Victrola Coffee Roasters describes groups of Starbucks employees camped out in his shop with “obnoxious folders that said, ‘Observation.'”

Well, that’s creepy. In other news, we think the McDonald’s ad in the picture is funny.

Starbucks tests new names for stores [Seattle Times]

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