What’s 2300 square feet and has an even bigger heart? The brand new Starbucks inside Children’s Hospital Seattle.

Coming soon: July 17, 2010 Starbucks is scheduled to open a new company-operated store inside Children’s Hospital in Seattle.  Most Starbucks located inside other businesses are licensed locations, but this one is not.  This is an all new company-operated Starbucks.  The rumor I hear is that the space was previously occupied by Tully’s and they finally decided to no longer keep and operate the space, and that Starbucks jumped on the opportunity to take it over.  The Children’s Hospital Starbucks location will be two stores, operated as one business. One store in the “Giraffe” wing of the hospital, and the other in the “Whale” wing of the hospital.  One manager will manage both stores.  Both sites currently have very small kiosks currently in operations.  My belief is that the kiosks have been open only for just a few days (possibly were opened very early June).  Here is the run down on the two stores:


Giraffe:  The very large 2300 square foot store will be located in the “Giraffe” wing of the hospital, and is under construction.  The store will be designed with wider walkways than a typical store, and numerous low-positioned larger tables, and is on the first floor of the Giraffe area.  In keeping with the hospital’s animal themes for areas, my understanding is that store design will make heavy use of older coffee-stamp style artwork that featured large animals, such as the Tanzania stamp or hopefully the old Sumatra stamp (that’s my wishful thinking).  The “Giraffe” wing store is the permanent main larger location, and currently has a temporary tiny kiosk operating to at least have some operations going while the main store is under construction.  I’ve heard that the store in the Giraffe wing will have standard Starbucks food, though the store is at least exploring the opportunity of adding perhaps an additional item suited to its unique circumstances, such as an easy to digest soup.

This is going to be a big deal.  Think about the clientele of the store.  The store is inside the hospital.  My heart goes out to everyone who will make this work.  Since it is clear, by the very nature of the location, many customers will be nearly residents of the hospital, this store will bring new meaning to the idea of a “third place.”  The hospital will be home to some of the customers. My understanding is that the “Giraffe” wing of the hospital has longer-term patients.  The exterior wall of the Starbucks has a mural of a Giraffes, and that mural will stay.  Currently the construction for the new store is behind the Giraffe mural.  The photo used as the main photo for this blog post is found in the Giraffe area of the hospital.

Whale:  The second smaller store, within the hospital, is located in the “Whale” wing of the hospital, on level five.  Currently Starbucks has already operating a very small kiosk a few hundred feet from a smaller store under construction.  The “Whale” and “Giraffe” areas are at opposite ends of the hospital, and it’s clear that the strategy and plan is to have two stores within the hospital as to reduce walking distance for customers.  There is some whale art hanging near the future Starbucks in the “Whale” section of the hospital, and so I took a quick photo of the hanging whale art.  There is a very small Starbucks-produced sign announcing their new store on the “Whale” side of the hospital too, and so I’ve included that photo here too.

I have to apologize for the poor quality of the photos that go with this blog entry.  I wasn’t really expecting to find blog content at Children’s Hospital, and so I didn’t come prepared with a nice camera, or even a pen to take some notes on the things that I learned on my visit to the hospital.

Would you want to work at this store if you’re a partner? What do you think?  I think this is a really cool store concept, and will be an amazing experience for the partners who are a part of it.  ((I know I promised my readers no new content for a week, but now I am back from vacation and I just don’t have the ability to wait that long.))