New and renovated Starbucks stores in Montana may have a new look a feel.

I'm partial to local coffee brands, but when I'm traveling or need a quick caffeine fix, Starbucks is my go-to. The East Coast has Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Dunkin, but the West and West Coast has secret menus, Glen and Roy, and "Eye of the Tiger."

And the latest news from Starbucks may make me a little more loyal to the brand. I appreciate their most recent initiative.

On February 16, Starbucks Coffee Company opened a new store in Washington D.C. that was built using an "Inclusive Spaces Framework." That framework will be implemented in new and renovated Starbucks locations, the company said in a press release.

What is an Inclusive Space Framework?

Starbucks says the Framework will, "...expand independence, choice and ease for all people across physical and digital spaces," and that it was created in partnership with "...a diverse community of customers, partners and accessibility experts..."

Since accessibility is key, new features will be incorporated into new and renovated stores. Starbucks lists the features as:

  • Updated Point-of-Sale
  • Custom Order Status Boards
  • Power-Operated Doors
  • Optimized Acoustics and Lighting
  • Inclusive Equipment Design
  • Paths of Travel
  • Connection

The features are designed to help with things like language, hearing, visuals, sensory, or physical experiences.

Recently, another major retail chain announced changes to its stores. Walmart has implemented a sensory-friendly time at its stores for those with PTSD or who have sensory sensitivities.

It's encouraging to see functional changes like these being made to accommodate a broader diversity of customers. Hopefully, other retailers, big and small, will be inspired to make similar accommodations in their stores.

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