Sunday, 20 September 2015

Starbucks Malaysia 200th store opening

Was I the only person that thought we had more than 200 Starbucks stores in the country? Anyhow, fourth Starbucks in the Bukit Bintang area (located right next to the Lot 10 Hutong foodcourt) was opening early on a Sunday morning. 

When they rolled out the promos...

  • Complimentary (I'm glad they didn't use the word "free" here, cos free it ain't :P) Starbucks 200th store edition mug with a minimum RM150 spend.
  • First 200 people in line get a new Starbucks card design, preloaded with 2 Autumn beverage rewards (sadly, no actual cash value, just the drinks :P)
  • Receive an exclusive 200th Store edition Starbucks Mengkuang Hot Sleeve with any purchase (which ran out pretty quickly)
  • BOGO Summer Beverage, from 20th - 25th September, from 5 - 8 p.m. 
I wasn't sleeping so great as I woke up sweaty around 6 a.m. (on a Sunday morning - I know!), and I was like, "fuck it, just go and check it out", so I showered, changed, had a light breakfast (so I don't get terribly hangry) and left while it was a little dark out. Because it was Car Free Day, I had to go another route to get to Wisma Cosway (which has flat rate parking on Sundays and public holidays and is right behind Pavilion). Traffic going in was pretty good and I got there before 7.15 a.m.

The only people that are walking around at that hour are the "foreign talent", who are either getting to or getting off work.

I was there so early... 
I was walking pretty leisurely up to Fahrenheit 88 until I saw a family of four nearby that was about to be in front of me in line, so I sped it up. This was the line as I saw it... Apparently the line started around 5.30 a.m. Talk about kiasu. I may be cray, but I ain't cray cray.

The line was moving pretty slowly because there were only two registers and by the time I got close to the door, there was a power trip and there was no air conditioning inside the store, which got stuffy really quickly. I have no idea how people can stand it in there, but I have to give the partners props for working through the stuffiness. They also gave out free frapp samples to the people in line - at first it was hot coffee, but since it was getting pretty warm out, they switched to frapps.

Line behind me

Once you get through the door, there's a lady standing by the merchandise shelves, helping people in line out with the prices and what not - they definitely more stuff that you don't see in other stores, like a more diverse Mengkuang product line (bookmarks, place mats...), tee shirts, planners, tote bags, shot glasses (that I heard are only available there and in Penang), etc.

Not bothering with stuff you can find in other stores, there's a shelf dedicated to 200th store edition only merch, so I got a frosted mug and a tumbler to get the minimum spend for the other mug. However, by the time I got to the register, the partner told me that the credit card machine was down (not sure if it was related to the power trip, or if it was simply overloaded) and that I would have to pay by cash. Short of blowing a full blown fit, I got a little upset (after waiting outside in the heat for almost 2 hours, only to find the lack of indoor AC was maddening - I would be okay if the air con was working, but I tend to get grumpy when overheated) until they told me they would hold my stuff for me while I went to withdraw some cash.

So I had to walk back to Pavilion to get to the outdoor ATM and then walk all the way back to pay, by then which I wasn't in the mood to spend any more on food and drink there. Mind you, the line was still going outside - the free Mengkuang cup sleeve ran out pretty quickly and I was about the 80-something-eth person to get the free Starbucks card at around 9 a.m - and already going around the block. People manning the cashier had to keep telling people to find the ladies in the Starbucks shirts for their free Starbucks card, located near one of the other doors, and away from the chaos that was the counters.

I was getting a little peckish, so I had a second breakfast of tea, roti kahwin and half boiled eggs at the Lot 10 Hutong, which thankfully still had airconditioning so that I could cool down before facing the world again.

What I liked: there were enough partners to serve the crowd in almost every capacity necessary, how cheery they were despite working in a stuffy store half the time I was there.

What I didn't like: The air conditioning and the credit card machine breakdown.

It's just as well that I probably won't be back there so soon..