Starbucks opened its first Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai, China, on Tuesday. The 30,000 square-foot store is the largest Starbucks location in the world, as well as the company’s newest retail offering outside the United States.
The store is almost twice as large as their Seattle flagship store, that opened in 2014.
Executive Chairman Howard Schultz said the store would blend the company’s 46-year history in the coffee shop business with “China’s rich, diverse culture.” China is a vital market for Starbucks, whose latest quarterly earnings were lagging.
Noticing that China was an incredibly fast growing market, the company decided to start expanding “aggressively” in the country. Sales there were up 8% compared with the same quarter last year.
Starbucks is proving to be so popular that the company is opening a new store every 15 hours on average in China, KTLA reports.
The huge store features giant copper casks for storing coffee beans, although the actual roasting will take place off the premises. There will also be a special emphasis on tea, with a dedicated bar offering favorites like their nitrogen cold brew tea.
Starbucks partnered with Chinese tech-giant, Alibaba, to aggressively promote the Shanghai store opening online. Customers are also able to book coffee tastings on Alibaba’s e-commerce site, and can buy special Starbucks Reserve coffee and related products tied to the store’s launch.
Although, it is said that this Shanghai roastery won’t be the biggest Starbucks for long. The company is already working on an enormous 43,000-square-foot Reserve Roastery in Chicago which is scheduled to open in 2019.
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