Starbucks demonstrates ongoing commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion with its opening of the first signing store in Japan on June 27, 2020.
While renowned for its many unique stores around the world, this new store in Tokyo, Japan, is intended for a very different purpose.
Located in Kunitachi City, Tokyo, the store is designed with human connection of the deaf and hard of hearing at heart — a tribute to the area’s long history as part of the Deaf and hard of hearing community.
It leverages technology and art to create an immersive experience in sign language and Deaf culture.
The walls are lined with artworks of sign language motif and pop illustration designed by Hidehiko Kado, a child of deaf parents, the space creates a window for customers to explore Deaf culture in Japan.
Digital screens provide visual cues to simple sign language. Customers can share new experiences and the diversity in communication by learning to sign.
Customers can order via the contactless speech-to-text voice recognition tablet at the register, write on a notepad or sign.
Starbucks has been hiring Deaf and hard of hearing partners since 1996. Today, they have more than 350 employees with disabilities working under their care.
This is the fifth signing store Starbucks has opened globally. The first opened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2016.
Next time you visit Japan, make a trip to the signing store for your cuppa. We’re planning for September when Singapore eases travel restrictions to Japan.