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Starbucks launches an express concept store in Toronto

On Wednesday, Starbucks opened its first express store in Canada, showing the company’s evolving strategy and deep understanding of its customers.

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Located in Toronto’s Union Station, the store appeals to customers who are looking for their daily injection of caffeine without having to stand in line for ages. According to The Star, Toronto’s station sees around 250,000 commuters a day, and Starbucks is readily responding to the huge demand for coffee by offering a more streamlined service that cuts the wait time in half.

“The express store takes what is best about our cafés and refines it for faster service for our on-the-go customers,” Starbucks Canada president Rossann Williams told the publication on Tuesday.

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She added that the “walk-through” experience has been designed to “seamlessly integrate technology and efficiency into the customer experience, reducing the amount of time they need to stand in line” — anyone who has ever stood in line in a regular Starbucks knows how time-consuming this can be.

The 400-square-foot venue is designed for efficiency and will have no seating, and in a bid to save time, an employee will take orders in the line before you get to the counter, and the order will be sent electronically to the barista. The menu will feature only its most popular items, such as brewed coffee and lattes — so you can still get your caffeine fix while you stumble blurry eyed to the train in the morning.

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The store is the third of its kind following the opening of the pilot store in New York City just across from the New York Stock Exchange, and thanks to the success of the first, a second express location was opened at the Empire State Building. The new store concept is an attempt by Starbucks to re-create its image, appeal to a wider market and evolve to meet its customers’ varying needs.

The new Union Station store in Toronto will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends.

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