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After many years, American coffee shop chain Starbucks has finally broached the Italian market. This is a big endeavour, because Italians are notoriously proud of their coffee – and rightly so! The new flagship store will be opening in Friday in Milan, and will be housed in a beautiful building with a stunning exterior, stylish interior and mezzanine cocktail bar. Here at Mezz Floors UK we love seeing mezzanines being used in exciting ways to create airy and flexible spaces, so we couldn’t wait to see how Starbucks had gone about incorporating one in their new Italian store.

This is to be no ordinary Starbucks. The company has gone above and beyond for its arrival in one of the home’s of fine coffee. The company says that it intends for the store to be an “homage” to Italian coffee tradition: coffee will be roasted in-house in a huge bronze cask on the shop floor, with customers being able to witness the whole process from bean to cup. It will also offer pizza, bread, ice cream and cocktails.

A mezzanine to complete the trendy design

In keeping with the high-end, traditionally-Italian style of the new Starbucks, the materials used in the interior design include wood panelling and marble. It will also span several levels, including a mezzanine which will be home to a cocktail bar.

Photo source: Business Wire / Pinterest

The new store aims to be an all-round experience, set in decadent surroundings that are in-keeping with the grandeur of the city of Milan. With the store housed in a grand former post office near to the famous Milan Cathedral, for the floor the designers have even used local marble that is used in the cathedral.

And we, of course, love the use of a mezzanine to further open out the grand space and add another level whilst maintaining the loftiness of this impressive building.

A new focus on customer experience

Starbucks clearly knew that to get anywhere in Italy, they would have to go above and beyond. Italians love their coffee, and have an abundance of home-roasted specialities that are some of the best coffees in the world.

Instead, Starbucks are trying to offer an exciting, luxurious and immersive experience to customers. Its focus on the interior and on an all-round sensory experience offers people something new. They won’t just be going there for the coffee – they’ll be going to enjoy the surroundings, atmosphere and novelties on offer.

The concept behind this new store is something that other companies can take inspiration from. With the high street beginning to suffer due to ecommerce and people favouring on-demand convenience services like Uber and Deliveroo, to attract customers to physical locations you need to be offering a real experience.

Focusing on the look and feel of your business – whether it’s a shop, bar, restaurant or cafe – can pay big dividends in the number of customers that you attract and how long people stay there. Choosing a uniform design scheme throughout and incorporating elements such as mezzanines can have real added value.