World's largest Starbucks to open in Shanghai

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Anyway, enough shop talk about coffee shops.

The U.S. -based coffee chain has seen China as a key market, where sales grew seven percent versus a three percent growth in the rest of the world in the past year, according to a company statement. There's also an on-site bakery with enough carbs from famed Italian baker Rocco Princi to keep you fueled as you explore Starbucks' first-ever augmented reality experience.

It's the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai, a new installment of Starbucks's upscale Roastery concept that first opened in Seattle in 2014. Starbucks, which says it is opening a store every 15 hours in China, plans to have 5,000 cafes on the mainland by 2021.

"One, you must be focused on experiential retail that creates an experience in your store that becomes a destination for the customer", Johnson explained when asked about what physical retailers must consider in 2017. There's also pricey merch for sale, such as a wooly gray cap with a "Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai" patch ($55.80) and a $90 coffee press. 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. This includes over 600 stores in Shanghai - the largest number of stores in any city where Starbucks has a presence.


People gather in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China.

In 2019, the company has also planned to build an even bigger store, announcing plans for a 43,0000 sq ft Reserve Roastery in Chicago in 2019. It's home to three "coffee experience bars", one of which is 88 feet long, making it the longest Starbucks coffee bar in the world.

Unlike in the US, Starbucks' challenge in China has been winning over traditional tea drinkers to coffee, rather than fending off local rivals. 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.

Starbucks opened its first store in China in 1999 in Beijing.

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