Starbucks readies NYC salon

LOS ANGELES: In an effort to extend the "Starbucks experience" beyond the traditional retail location, the Seattle-based retailer is set to launch a pop-up Starbucks Salon September 8 - 17 in New York's SoHo district.

LOS ANGELES: In an effort to extend the "Starbucks experience" beyond the traditional retail location, the Seattle-based retailer is set to launch a pop-up Starbucks Salon September 8 - 17 in New York's SoHo district.

To coincide with Fashion Week, the temporary salon venue "build[s] on the heritage and intimacy of the traditional coffeehouse concept," said Christy Salcido, Starbucks director of PR, describing "a place where diverse, culturally curious thought leaders would gather to hear musicians and poets, [to be] entertained and inspired ... You're not going to walk in and feel as if you're in a Starbucks store." 

While Salon visitors can order Starbucks beverages and snacks, they can also take part in a variety of "experiential things going [on] throughout the day" and witness evening performances by both emerging and established musicians, poets, spoken-word artists, videographers, comedians, and DJs, all free on a first-come, first serve basis. There will not be performances held on Monday, September 11, but the space will be open. 

But Salcido noted that the Salon would be open, and could even serve as an impromtu place of reflection for some.

"The whole idea [of the Starbucks Salon] is about provoking thought, and about words and ideas," said Amy Kavanaugh, Edelman's Los Angeles-based EVP and national client relationship manager for Starbucks.

PR efforts, handled by Starbucks' AOR Edelman, include print and online calendar listings and short-lead pitching to music, lifestyle, and alternative publications from Vanity Fair to Time Out New York, Salcido said. Other outreach components, she said, include in-store signage in New York-area Starbucks, wild postings (scaffold art), and sidewalk art. 

Kavanaugh said outreach efforts relied on reaching out to online communities in a "considerate way, letting them know what's available to experience."

In addition, a compilation CD featuring salon performers will be available free to store customers beginning September 6. 

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