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Nespresso is trialling virtual queues in New Zealand

Coffee-pod retailer Nespresso has opened a new concept store in the Auckland suburb of Albany which aims for an immersive shopping experience. The boutique, which opened in December 2017, boasts an experiential design and virtual queuing system.

The new Albany Nespresso boutique replaces a pop-up kiosk formerly located nearby, which opened in 2015. Its virtual queueing system means customers won’t have to queue at a counter to be served – instead, a staff member approaches the customer and processes their purchases through a tablet.

John Ciaglia, Nespresso New Zealand Country Manager says, “For the first time in New Zealand, shoppers can experience our unique coffee story in a completely different way. From the moment they walk in the door, they’re taken on a journey with experiential coffee tastings and discovery sessions – all of which communicate our sustainability story and commitment to becoming the most sustainable coffee brand in the world.”

Nespresso has been criticised for the environmental impact of its single-use aluminium coffee capsules. To address this, the company has implemented an in-house recycling programme allowing shoppers to return their used capsules for recycling at Nespresso stores and partner businesses, and emphasised its commitment to sustainability using design elements in the new boutique.

These include table-tops finished with used coffee grounds; Forest Stewardship certified wood; technological systems to reduce energy and water consumption; and a capsule recycling collection point. Live coffee plants are grown in-store.

The Nespresso boutique concept and open format was designed by Universal Design Studio. The firm prioritized a ‘sensorial welcome’ station, where shoppers can touch, smell and taste the coffee; a discovery bar for taste and comparison; and a lab kitchen where shoppers can use different Nespresso machines.

All Nespresso boutiques feature a piece of artwork made from the company’s capsules. Auckland artist Greg Straight created Albany’s artwork, ‘Coastal Evergreen’, which depicts a pōhutukawa flower.

Straight also created the design for a 10-sleeve Auckland Coffee Assortment product, and his artwork also features on the wallpaper in the boutique.

This story first appeared at The Register.

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