Shanghai Opens World's Largest Starbucks (For Now)


This week on CNBC's "Squawk Box", Belinda Wong, the CEO of Starbucks in China, said that one new Starbucks location is opening in China every 15 hours, making China the coffeehouse chain's second largest and fastest growing market-and a market that should eclipse the US market. And, if caffeine doesn't quite do it for you, China's first Starbucks Teavana bar, which is made from 3D printed recycled materials and serves nitrogen-infused teas, is located upstairs. "This interactive, retail environment will allow customers in China to better understand the craft of roasting and brewing a range of Starbucks coffees including the rare, limited availability of Starbucks Reserve coffees from around the world". 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.

Chinese elements are found in the design of the new coffee store.

The Shanghai Roastery will be the first Starbucks location to seamlessly integrate a real-time, online-offline customer experience. And the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, told Bloomberg News that China could become the main market of the company in less than a decade.

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When customers walk in they are even given an "exploration guide", which doubles as a map.

The store in Shanghai is 30,000-square-foot, and it is the second Reserve Roastery of Starbucks.

The store is able to hold 1,000 to 1,200 customers at a time and has around 500 chairs on the site.

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Customers can also utilize the Roastery app to view digital menus and learn about Starbucks' various brewing methods.

Visitors can buy curated tours of the building, book a coffee tasting journey via the online Starbucks Roastery store, available on Alibaba's Tmall platform, purchase a special tasting menu online, buy Roastery merchandise or whole beans to be delivered directly to their homes.

High-end Italian bakery Princi has a huge stall where more than 30 Chinese bakers and chefs will prepare more than 80 different products each day. Each step of the way, customers unlock a virtual badge and once all badges are earned, they receive a custom Roastery filter to commemorate the moment and share on social media. According to agency reports, a Starbucks opens in China every 15 hours.

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Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai will be sure to astound locals when it opens-it's the equivalent of 40 average Manhattan apartments (and who knows how many Shanghai apartments).