This year alone, Starbucks has put its name on everything from instant coffee to super-premium ice cream, so it comes as a surprise that the corporate coffee titan is now moving to get rid of its name. The Seattle Times reports that the company is conducting a test to remove its ubiquitous name and mermaid logo from at least three of its Seattle stores and replace it with new names that emphasize the coffeehouses' surrounding neighborhoods. The first test location is slated to reopen next week bearing the new name 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea. The Starbucks corporate logo will be absent from the company's coffee and products and rebranded with the 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea name. To add to the classic coffeehouse vibe, the store will feature live music and poetry readings, a manual espresso machine, and wine and beer options.

The pilot comes at a time when large casual chains — including Starbucks — are suffering from sluggish sales and slower foot traffic. If the name change proves successful, the company may test this out in other markets. I find this step for Starbucks to be somewhat bizarre — but perhaps it's a measure that will ultimately pay off. What do you think of the move?

Source: Flickr User jimg944