VIDEO: New-look Starbucks opens its doors in central London

LONDON - Starbucks has opened the first store to depart from its established interior design, toning down references to the brand and introducing more upmarket materials such as Italian leather.

In this video supplied by the chain Tim Pfeiffer, Starbuck's senior vice president of global design, goes over the elements of the store, which is located on London's Conduit Street. The coffeehouse opened its doors to the public on Friday 6 November.

The company has gone back to its roots, toned down all references to the Starbucks brand and reinstated its original "heritage" logo from 1971.

Low-energy lighting throughout the store consumes 25% less electricity, and furniture has been created from recycled and reclaimed materials, including Welsh windfall oak.

Customers can conduct business meetings on a large metal table made from an industrial tank, while off cuts of Italian leather from shoe and automobile manufacturers are used for upholstery.

Tim Pfeiffer, Starbuck's senior vice president of global design, said: "We wanted to imbed the character of the neighbourhood in this and really elevate the offering to the customer. Its very much more bespoke and a one-off.

"The first hit you get when you walk in the store is a great big presence around the bar itself — the theatre. I think we're really bringing our coffee authority... along with a really beautiful environment."

Darcy Willson-Rymer, managing director, Starbucks UK and Ireland, said: "Our stores set an exceptional standard in creating a place for customers to meet and enjoy great coffee but we're never satisfied with the status quo.

"Customer expectations are rising so once again we're setting the agenda and showing that Starbucks is leading the field in creating an outstandingly great place for customers.

"This new design approach, which is an important investment in the future of our company, also means that we can make a significant contribution to reaching our environmental targets."

By the end of 2010 Starbucks intends to reduce its energy consumption by 25 per cent, derive 50 per cent of energy from renewable sources and begin green certification for new stores worldwide.

The new concept will roll out across the UK in over 100 cafes by the end of 2010.

In the US Starbucks is trialling unbranded stores in its home town of Seattle, which critcis have dubbed "stealth Starbucks". At The 15th Street Coffee and Tea products are also non-branded while other stores feature live music and poetry readings.

New-look Starbucks opens its doors in central London