Friday, 15 December, 2017

World's largest Starbucks opens in China and it's 30000 square feet

Starbucks Starbucks
Laurie Berry | 07 December, 2017, 09:45

And the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, told Bloomberg News that China could become the main market of the company in less than a decade. Starbucks' scene-recognition software and AR experience is powered through a partnership with Alibaba Holding Group Ltd.

Starbucks already has more than 3,000 of its standard cafes in 136 Chinese cities, including more than 600 in Shanghai alone, the largest number of stores in any city in the world.

Speaking inside of the 30,000 square foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai, right in front of a magnificent two-story roasting cask engraved with more than 1,000 traditional Chinese stamps, Ma sang the praises of the Seattle-based coffee chain, saying that when people ask him why so many American companies are not so successful in China, he points them to Starbucks, which is opening a new location here every 15 hours. Called the Starbucks Roastery Shanghai, the outlet measures an astounding 30,000 sq ft - that is nearly half of a football field.

Twice the size of the original Seattle Roastery, opening the Shanghai Roastery marks "a turning point for the corporation" Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz, who oversees the brand's global growth including the vital market of China for the company where he was formerly CEO, told CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin on a tour this week. Once they hold their phone up to it, however, they can see inside the cask as newly roasted beans drop down inside - thanks to augmented reality.

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The store in Shanghai is only one of the five Roasteries that were expected to open before 2020.

The first Starbucks augmented reality (AR) experience is available, either through the Roastery app or on Alibaba's Taobao app. "It's coffee as theater", Jiang said. Some have had to wait an hour before being able to place an order.

With this new AR feature, guests can virtually see the animated beans rest before being whisked through copper pipes to the coffee bars, as they read about the process of turning a bean into a cup of coffee. The customer can pay on the spot and be digitally notified when their order is ready, along with the location where they can pick it up. In 2018, the company planned to open Roasteries in Milan and NY, and in 2019, Starbucks will open Roasteries in Tokyo and Chicago. "I don't like coffee, but I like Starbucks".

"That time is nearer than you think", said Schultz at the opening of the Roastery in Shanghai, adding that technology will not replace the brand's "humanity" in dealing with customers. After earning them all, they can receive a custom Roastery social media filter to share online. One of the key features of the store is the ceiling, which is made of 10,000 handmade wooden hexagon-shaped tiles, inspired by the locking of an espresso shot on an espresso machine.

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