Starbucks opens its largest store in China

Starbucks opens its largest store in China

Starbucks opens its largest store in China

Starbucks has launched its interactive coffee and retail store, Reserve Roastery, in Shanghai as the brand looks to expand its presence in its fastest growing market.

Coffee chain giant Starbucks is set to open its biggest cafe in Shanghai, as it steps up its operations in China amid cooling growth in the US.

Starbucks dominates in China and is growing fast in the market, while in the U.S. it comes under pressure from a "third wave" of boutique coffee sellers and cheaper rivals.

The AR experience is powered by Alibaba Group's scene-recognition technology and users can access digital experiences, such as viewing menus, ordering special coffee blends and booking customised experiences via a dedicated Roastery app or through Alibaba's Taobao app.

China is critical for Starbucks. Yet the Reserve Roastery is quite unlike any of the existing 3,000 Starbucks stores throughout China, offering immersive coffee- and tea-focused experiences throughout multiple stories.

At the same time, revenue from Starbucks Asia-Pacific region represented close to 15% of the revenue for Starbucks during its fiscal year that ended during October.

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Customers can also visit Tmall to purchase Shanghai Roastery and Reserve branded merchandise and coffee for home delivery.

The Starbucks Roastery follows Smith & Sinclair's "experiential" chocolate shop in Britain's John Lewis, and the sensor-decked NikeLab in London and NY stores previous year.

Starbucks furnishes the Shanghai Roastery with Chinese culture-rich decor, blended with the latest trend of augmented reality.

But the Shanghai roastery won't hold the title of largest Starbucks for too long.

One of its three coffee bars is 88-feet long, the longest Starbucks bar in the world - because waiting in line is so 2016. In July, Starbucks announced the closure of 379 Teavana outlets across the country.

Princi baked items are shown in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. In the third quarter ending October 1, China's comparable store sales grew 8 percent, compared to a 2 percent global growth and 2 percent growth in the US market. That was up from just 5.5% five years ago.

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