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World's Largest Starbucks Opening In Shanghai, China
06 December 2017, 12:40 | Ruby West
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Three years after the company opened its first roastery on its home turf, Starbucks is testing the larger, upmarket store concept overseas for the first time in China, where it now has 3,000 sites.
The company is riding that wave and expanding aggressively in China, opening a new Starbucks store every 15 hours on average. Customers can watch the green beans as they are roasted, then sent through copper "symphony" pipes (named because of the musical sound the beans make as they travel through them) directly to silos at the coffee bars.
China is seen as a promising market for Starbucks as the coffee giant tries to expand outside of the saturated United States market.
Starbucks is now building more net new company-operated stores in China than the US, said CEO Kevin Johnson, who replaced CEO Howard Schultz in April when the longtime leader transitioned into the role of executive chairman.
In the run up to the opening, the Starbucks publicity machine has been in overdrive, hitting social media sites and chat rooms with news and details of he launch. Shanghai location is Starbucks' biggest store to date, and also its most advanced digitally.
An augmented reality app is used in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. The location has gourmet drinks - like nitrogen-infused teas - and an 88-foot-long, hand-crafted coffee bar.
China has become Starbucks' second largest and fastest growing market, and one the company expects to eclipse the USA market one day. "We've created a space that both recognizes and celebrates our 46-year history of coffee leadership and retail innovation with China's rich, diverse culture". The ambitious storefront is being called the Shanghai Reserve Roastery and looks more like a resort than a cafe. Available on the custom-designed Roastery digital web app platform and Alibaba's Taobao app, the AR platform will incorporate a digital menu and share details of the coffee bars and brewing methods, in addition to other online and offline experiences. Customers can earn virtual badges to commemorate their visit.
Starbucks opened its first Roastery in Seattle in 2014.
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