Starbucks to open first pickup-only store in downtown Toronto

A rendering of the pickup store location that will open in downtown Toronto on Feb. 4, 2020.

The world’s second Starbucks pickup-only store will open in downtown Toronto in February to offer services solely for people ordering on their mobile phones.

New York City was the first city to get the new, smaller Starbucks, which offers no seating, and only caters to customers who order ahead with the Starbucks app.

The second pick-up location will open on Feb. 4 at 25 King Street West in Commerce Court.

Retail expert Bruce Winder told CTV News Toronto that the location of these mini-sites is important to their success, and downtown Toronto is the ideal fit.

“They picked a very busy downtown location where most people probably just grab and go … These are customers who will most likely be very comfortable using the app,” Winder said Tuesday.

“The idea is that you still get your customers and you offer convenience, without dealing with the same kind of cost and expenses.”

Winder said the drawback for the pick-up stores is that it won’t be convenient for people not familiar with the app, or those who just want to sit down.

“It’s very location specific, in the suburbs, this would probably receive blowback,” he said. “In the downtown setting, it makes perfect sense.”

Starbucks said the location will still offer the full beverage and food assortment usually provided in the regular cafés, and it will also have a digital board displaying order status.

Winder said that building smaller locations is an opportunity to have more locations across downtown Toronto.

He said this could make things more convenient for people downtown who want stores built closer to their workplaces.

“They will be able to operate in a very convenient way with a smaller footprint,” he said.

“Rent is a lot in downtown Toronto to have people sit down, and a lot of people don’t want to sit down [there], they’re on the go.”

Starbucks Pickup downtown will be open from Monday to Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.