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Starbucks To Open First Pickup-Only Location In PA In Rittenhouse Square

The retail space at 1709 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia, seen in 2020 when occupied by a pizzeria, which has since closed.

Starbucks is opening the first Pennsylvania iteration of its Starbucks Pickup micro-store in the heart of Philadelphia's retail core.

The coffee giant has signed a lease for a storefront totaling less than 1,600 SF at 1709 Chestnut St. in Rittenhouse Square, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. As a Starbucks Pickup location, it will not have seating or public bathrooms, and it will be designed for customers, especially Starbucks Rewards members, to pick up orders that they place on the Starbucks app.

The new lease comes on the heels of Starbucks closing a full-service location at 10th and Chestnut streets, one of 16 closures nationwide that the company said were due to safety concerns. In a leaked July video, outgoing Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said that more safety-related closures could be coming as part of a reimagining of how the company's stores interact with the public.

In 2018, a Starbucks at nearby 18th and Spruce streets became the center of a national controversy when two Black customers were arrested while waiting to meet a friend. Starbucks added racial sensitivity training and committed to making its bathrooms open to the public, but that latter policy has been challenged by a rise in drug use and other behaviors that have made customers and employees feel unsafe, Starbucks executives said in a July open letter.

Beyond safety concerns, Starbucks Pickup is also part of the coffee chain's response to the increase in drive-thru and phone ordering as part of its customer interactions, including integrating Amazon's Just Walk Out cashier-less technology at some of its Pickup stores in New York.

The Chestnut Street location sits just across the street from the space Barnes & Noble will occupy when it relocates from Walnut Street to the former Forever 21 storefront at 1708 Chestnut.