starbucks opens first signing store in japan for the deaf and hard of hearing
 

starbucks opens first signing store in japan for the deaf and hard of hearing

continuing the company’s commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity, starbucks has opened its first signing store in japan on june 27 2020. situated in kunitachi city, tokyo, the new coffee shop celebrates deaf culture and sign language through clever design tools and vibrant artwork.

starbucks opens first signing store in japan for the deaf and hard of hearing designboom

starbucks employees pose in front of a fingerspelling sign 

all images courtesy of starbucks

 

 

the location of the new signing store has been chosen due to the area’s long history as part of the deaf and hard of hearing community. in addition to providing local coffee lovers with a welcoming and inclusive space, the opening of the store also means career opportunities for 19 new and existing deaf and hard of hearing starbucks employees.

starbucks opens first signing store in japan for the deaf and hard of hearing designboom

the new store is providing career opportunities for 19 new and existing deaf and hard of hearing starbucks employees

 

 

‘starbucks has been hiring deaf and hard of hearing partners (employees) since we entered japan in 1996, and these partners have made incredible impacts in their communities,’ said takafumi minaguchi, CEO, starbucks coffee japan. ‘inspired by their passion, we created this store as a place of belonging, where our partners and customers can stay true to who they are and be inspired. this store truly represents infinite possibilities for all.’

starbucks opens first signing store in japan for the deaf and hard of hearing designboom

a pointing menu in the signing store

 

 

within the 2240 ft2 (208 m2) space, the interior adopts the instantly recognizable color scheme and aesthetic of the starbucks brand. however, the design also includes a number of clever features to provide a seamless experience for deaf or hard of hearing customers. when ordering their favorite brew, customers have several options including contactless speech-to-text voice recognition through a tablet at the register, pointing to items on the menu, or writing on a notepad.

starbucks opens first signing store in japan for the deaf and hard of hearing designboom

the interior with starbucks name displayed in fingerspelling, showcasing deaf culture through art and technology

 

 

to track their order, customers can use the number printed on their receipt to check digital signage, which also serves as a display for greetings in sign language. then, when the coffee is ready, a sign language animation lets the customers know.

starbucks opens first signing store in japan for the deaf and hard of hearing designboom

art inspired by sign language, created by hidehiko kado, a child of deaf adults (CODA)

 

 

in addition to the integration of technology for the deaf and hard of hearing, the interior is also decorated with artwork by hidehiko kado. the bright colors and whimsical expressions reinforce the stores concept of inclusivity and connection, inviting local japanese customers to become immersed in the unique culture of signing. 

starbucks opens first signing store in japan for the deaf and hard of hearing designboom

starbucks is building company culture through equity, diversity and inclusion

 

 

‘the opening of japan’s first signing store is an important moment that represents the incredible passion of our deaf and hard of hearing partners across japan,’ said ryotaro sato, shift supervisor. ‘we want to showcase how the talent of the deaf and hard of hearing community can spark connections, inspire new possibilities, and help our partners grow their careers with starbucks. we’re looking forward to sharing new experiences with our customers and demonstrating the diversity of communication that they can experience at the signing store.’

starbucks opens first signing store in japan for the deaf and hard of hearing designboom

the exterior of japan’s first starbucks signing store, with the company’s name displayed in fingerspelling

 

 

project info

 

company: starbucks

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