Spice Merchants: “a rockin’ cool place that smells good”

If Starbucks has taught us anything, it’s that people are willing to pay a lot more for an experience — even for a product like coffee, which many retailers perceived to be little more than human fuel until Starbucks came along. The difference between a $1.85 cup of garden-variety coffee at Denny’s and a $14¬†Venti White Chocolate Mocha with 12 shots of espresso, two shots of soy, extra whipped cream, toffee syrup, hazelnut syrup, extra Mocha drizzle and extra Caramel drizzle at Starbucks comes down the luxurious experience of enjoying¬† gourmet coffee customized the way you want it and the typically hip Starbucks environment. Spice Merchants, a new store in Downers Grove, Illinois, is counting on a sensory experience to attract the kind of people who want to indulge themselves in exotic spice flavors like Thai Coconut Rub instead of picking up a jar of Mrs. Dash at a grocery store.

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