Starbucks' new megastore in Shanghai is so big, it needs a 'tour guide'

CNBC
Tuesday, Dec 05, 2017
Photo: Starbucks

Starbucks is making a big impression in Shanghai: a 30,000-square-foot impression.

Opening Tuesday in the Chinese city is Starbucks' second Reserve Roastery, a "megastore" that is more of a mecca for coffee lovers than a traditional cafe.

The locations, which feature small-batch roastings of rare and exotic coffees, are under the careful watch of former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Schultz stepped down from his post in April to focus on those coffee bars and remained on as the company's executive chairman.

It is Starbucks' hope that the Roastery locations will become destinations for coffee drinkers rather than just a place to stop while you're at the mall. That's especially the goal as more customers swap their spending to online stores and visit brick-and-mortar shops less often.

Source : Starbucks, China Daily/Asia News Network

Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai will open its door to customers on Dec 6, three years after the launch of the Seattle Roastery. The roastery will also open in Milan, New York and Tokyo.

Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, said the roastery will serve as an innovation hub for the company's stores and is expected to work with more local technology companies to enhance its digital experiences in China regarding its mobile payment, mobile ordering and supply chain management.

Howard Schultz, executive chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company, said in nine years China's market size will become as big as United States'. Currently, one store is opening at every 15 hours in China and Starbucks is reaching 20 new cities each year.

China is the company's fastest growing market with more than 3,000 stores across 136 cities. Starbucks already has over 600 stores in Shanghai - the largest number of stores in any city where Starbucks has a presence.

Starbucks' Shanghai Roastery has three coffee experience bars, one of which is a whopping 88 feet long, the longest Starbucks coffee bar in the world.

The bars allow customers to be up close and watch as their coffee is brewed.

Schultz said in addition to extending its food offerings in stores in China, they have plans to have stand-alone Rocco Princi bakery stores in China alongside its in-store display of the Milan-based bread baking unit in the Roastery in China.

This location will be manned by more than 30 skilled Chinese bakers and chefs and feature more than 80 items baked fresh on-site daily.

For those that visit Shanghai's Roastery, Starbucks has included an augmented reality experience. Customers can use their smartphones to learn more about key features within the Roastery.

Diners need only point their phones at items within the Roastery to get more information about them and Starbucks' history. The "tour guide" is powered by Alibaba.

The Roastery in Shanghai also includes China's first Teavana Bar. The bar is made entirely out of 3-D printed recycled materials, the company said.

The company has even enlisted the help of e-commerce giant Alibaba to create an augmented reality experience within the Roastery.

The company's flagship Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room opened in its home market of Seattle in 2014. Starbucks has said it could open as many as 20 to 30 Roastery stores around the world.

The Shanghai location is just one of five Roasteries expected to open before 2020. Roasteries are currently slated to open in Milan and New York in 2018 and in Tokyo and Chicago in 2019.

A LOOK INSIDE STARBUCKS SHANGHAI ROASTERY

China has become Starbucks' second-largest and fastest growing market.There are more than 3,000 Starbucks stores in China, with 600 in Shanghai alone, and Starbucks plans to increase that number to 5,000 by 2021. At this rate, the coffee giant estimates that a new store opens ever 15 hours in China.

The design for the new Roastery was inspired by coffee and created exclusively for Starbucks' Chinese customers and will not be repeated in other locations. One of the key designs is the ceiling, which is comprised of 10,000 handmade wooden hexagon-shaped tiles. Starbucks said that the shape was inspired by an espresso machine.


Photo: Starbucks

COFFEE EXPERIENCE BARS

Starbucks' Shanghai Roastery has three coffee experience bars, one of which is a whopping 88 feet long, the longest Starbucks coffee bar in the world.

The bars allow customers to be up close and watch as their coffee is brewed.


Photo: Starbucks

UNIQUE BEVERAGES

This Roastery has more than 100 beverages available for purchase, including Teavana tea infused with nitrogen and a new steam tea brewing technique.

Like the location in Seattle, the Shanghai Roaster will feature menu items that cannot be found at any other Starbucks location.


Photo: Starbucks

TEAVANA BAR

The Roastery in Shanghai also includes China's first Teavana Bar. The bar is made entirely out of 3-D printed recycled materials, the company said.

In addition, the light jade colouring of the bar was inspired by ancient green clay teapots, Starbucks said.


Photo: Starbucks

PRINCI BAKERY

Princi, which made its debut in Seattle's Roastery last month, is also featured in Shanghai's Roastery.

This location will be manned by more than 30 skilled Chinese bakers and chefs and feature more than 80 items baked fresh on-site daily.


Photo: Starbucks

AUGMENTED REALITY

For those that visit Shanghai's Roastery, Starbucks has included an augmented reality experience. Customers can use their smartphones to learn more about key features within the Roastery.

Diners need only point their phones at items within the Roastery to get more information about them and Starbucks' history. The "tour guide" is powered by Alibaba.

 


Photo: Starbucks

This article was first published in CNBC.

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