Creating a More Accessible Store Experience

On Friday, Starbucks opened its first store built using an inclusive design framework.

Photo courtesy of Starbucks.

Starbucks opened its first store built using its Inclusive Spaces Framework guidelines on Friday in Washington, D.C. The framework aims to bring more inclusive innovation in physical and digital spaces, the release says, while enabling the brand to scale the accessibility across its stores. A community of customers, employees and accessibility experts helped create the framework.

Moving forward, Starbucks says, all newbuilds and renovated company-operated stores in the U.S. will begin to incorporate the framework. Highlights include the following:

  • A POS system that comes portable for ease of use with customers, has an adjustable angle stand for better visibility and offers voice assist and screen magnification, among other features
  • Status boards that give customers visual updates on where their order is in the process, improving communication
  • Power-operated doors with a longer vertical push button that is easier to use from more heights and angles
  • Acoustics and lighting features that help create a more inclusive auditory and visual experience for customers and employees
  • A brewer with a larger dial and button that protrude for a more accessible reach and visual and haptic confirmation, including a light to notify when brewing is complete
  • A continuous, unobstructed pedestrian path making it easier to enter, explore and exit the store
  • Lower counters with overhangs to accommodate wheelchair access and support better communication when picking up food and beverages.

“At Starbucks, we have challenged ourselves to imagine what’s possible when we take a closer look at the many ways our partners and customers interact with us and experience our stores every day,” says Katie Young, senior vice president of store operations, in a statement. “Building and scaling an Inclusive Store Framework is central to our mission of connection and will lead to greater access for all.”


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