Thursday, December 17th, 2020 December17th2020

Sell for More Trivia: What is a Walk-Through Store?

Published on December 17th, 2020

Sell for More Trivia is a weekly blog series that playfully presents a trivia question about commercial real estate.


After efforts to expand US suburban drive-through locations, Starbucks is creating a similar experience for customers on foot…with “walk-through stores.”

“What we’re trying to do is build the equivalent of a drive-through in a dense metropolitan area, which I think of as a walk-through,” said Starbucks Corp CEO Kevin Johnson.

The new format

Orders are to be primarily digital, paid for in advance, as the company shifts to new store formats in response to changing habits.

In the United States, the stores are called Starbucks Pickup.  Within a 3-5 minute walk of these locations will be traditional Starbucks cafés, Johnson said.

Broadly, Starbucks is closing some under-performing locations and relocating others, while adding new to-go locations, traditional cafés and suburban drive-throughs where possible.

It expects to grow nearly 70% to 55,000 locations globally by fiscal 2030. It is among several big restaurant chains likely to become even larger after the pandemic.

Artificial intelligence

For future growth, Johnson said that Starbucks will lean on artificial intelligence…a suite of products that Starbucks calls Deep Brew…to give store managers an edge in how they run their locations. The goal is not to displace employees, but to have them focus on customer service instead.

The technology can create staff schedules and automate inventory management. It is already used to generate personalized deals for Starbucks Rewards members.

And Starbucks is using AI to assess local COVID-19 cases, customer preferences and employee sentiment in order to recommend, on a store-by-store basis, whether and how to slowly reopen locations.


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About Beau Beach, MBA CCIM

Beau is a tenacious Commercial Real Estate Broker, author and adoring father of four. His clients appreciate his no-nonsense demeanor and his legendary work ethic.

Beau leads Beachwood which is a commercial real estate broker for sellers in the Nashville, Milwaukee and South Florida markets.

He’s the author of the books The 3 Reasons: Why Most Commercial Properties Don’t Sell and True Wealth: What Every Seller Should Know About 1031 Exchanges.

Beau can be reached at 800-721-3287, click to schedule a call or