With traffic waning, Starbucks has a new strategy: It’s dropping “Starbucks” from store names and rebranding them to reflect their neighborhoods, the Seattle Times reports. 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea, for example, won’t feature the Starbucks logo—even bags of coffee will be labeled “15th Avenue.” The shop will also aim for a classic coffeehouse vibe, selling alcohol and featuring live music and poetry.
Seattle independents were annoyed by Starbucks workers scouting their stores. “They spent the last 12 months in our store up on 15th (Ave.) with these obnoxious folders that said, ‘Observation,’” noted one. While a Starbucks rep calls the store “definitely a little neighborhood coffee shop,” the local owner says, “Starbucks is Starbucks, and we’re different from them.” If the idea works, the chain may expand it beyond Seattle.