Travellers on Switzerland’s railways will soon be able to purchase refreshments from the new Starbucks stores that are to open on intercity Swiss trains.
Swiss Federal Railways, or SBB, the national railway company of Switzerland, is partnering with Starbucks Corporation, a US-based coffee company, to provide travelling Starbucks stores onboard intercity express trains by the first half of 2013. The partnership will first offer Starbucks stores aboard two SBB Intercity trains between St Gallen and Geneva, in Switzerland.
The Starbucks stores on wheels will be adding to the restaurant services the Swiss rail company already provides to its passengers, with the intention of increasing the facilities and convenience of rail travel. The partnership’s pilot project includes the remodelling of the current onboard bistro and restaurant services of two ‘IC 2000’ double-decker trains into Starbucks stores. Starbucks and the rail company have jointly developed the new design for the stores.
The onboard Starbucks stores will be operated by a SBB subsidiary, Elvetino.
Jeannine Pilloud, the SBB director of passenger transportation, said, ‘Starbucks is a perfect complement for our own range of services. We would like to attract young guests and business travellers in particular.’
Rich Nelsen, the senior vice president for Starbucks EMEA, said, ‘Once again Switzerland is leading the way and planning a key role in innovating the Starbucks brand. It is here over ten years ago where we opened our first store in continental Europe, we purchase all of our coffee worldwide through our Lausanne trading centre and our coffee machines come from Switzerland.’