This weekend, I found myself on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach meeting a new friend from globond and happened to walk by the new HEAR Music store - the first prototype of Starbucks coffee and music store.
In the course of the visit, I saw the state of the store - bringing back recollections of the first Internet cafes that made their appearance in storefronts back in 1999. As you can see in the following photos, the interface is designed to be simple to use - and potentially give people a chance to enjoy the music and coffee at the same time.
The space included a performance space, which was liberally used for this employee's preview - with a terrific singer named Crystal Bond performing in it when I visited. The coffee is still pure Starbucks, but the music store is focusing on discovery and personal service. Jonathan Lake, project manager for Starbucks, described a focus on helping the customers discover music through referral information (e.g. if you like A, you might enjoy B) to help customers select their music and burn their own CDs (for $0.99 per track - from the examples I saw today).
As seen here - the "bar" is chocked full of dedicated terminals - and the CD burners lie in the front of the bar. This will be an interesting prototype experiment - I look forward to seeing what happens with the in-store sales.
Tags: HEAR Music Starbucks