Starbucks opens its largest store in China

Starbucks opens its largest store in China

It's the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai, a new installment of Starbucks's upscale Roastery concept that first opened in Seattle in 2014.

It's also the largest Starbucks in the world, spanning an area almost twice as large as the next biggest, a Roastery in Seattle that opened three years ago.

Starbucks claims China is now its fastest-growing market worldwide with 3,000 stores at present, with the country being tipped by its chief executive, Kevin Johnson to become the Seattle-based firm's biggest market within a decade.

In addition, Starbucks has included an augmented reality or AR experience for people who visit Shanghai's Roastery.

Customers can also use Augmented Reality technology to see the coffee making process in their smart phones, and use mobile payment.

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As customers enter the new Roastery, they are greeted by the sight of a two-story, copper cask, adorned with more than 1,000 traditional Chinese chops (or stamps) that have been hand-engraved to narrate the story of Starbucks and coffee.

But the store won't retain its title for long.

The "Starbucks Reserve Roastery" is on Nanjing Road West, the city's most-famous shopping street, and has been hotly promoted for months on social media.

Starbucks has said it plans other roastery cafes in New York, Tokyo and Italy. Three wooden coffee bars stretching up to 27 meters (88 feet) long and handcrafted by Chinese artisans will serve as the stage for hundreds of baristas and six brewing methods: ModBar Pour Over, Chemex, Coffee Press, Siphon, Espresso and the proprietary Clover-brewed coffee. 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. Since then, it has opened more than 3,000 stores in 136 cities (more than 600 are in Shanghai), and is adding a new one every 15 hours, the company said in a statement. That was up from just 5.5% five years ago.

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