World's Largest Starbucks Opening In Shanghai, China

A “Steampunk” device uses steam to extract the best flavor from tea at the Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai

Starbucks has showcased its first overseas roastery and its world's largest store in Shanghai, as it expressed strong confidence in.

Coffee chain giant Starbucks is set to open its biggest cafe in Shanghai, as it steps up its operations in China amid cooling growth in the US.

Starbucks already has 600 stores in Shanghai - the most of any city in the world which the company has a presence - and the company says China continues to represent its fastest-growing coffee market.

According to a December 5 press release, Starbucks is opening the "first fully immersive coffee experience in Asia" tomorrow.

Patrons at the huge new coffeehouse located on the well-known shopping strip West Nanjing Road can watch coffee beans being roasted, use an augmented reality app from Starbucks to interact inside the store and sample high-end coffees.

More news: Beijing urges global community to pool efforts to resolve North Korea issue

China is critical for Starbucks.

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. Starbucks launched this new type of store to seek an edge in the crowded market, and to differentiate from its image as the commercial street corner coffee shop. In 2019, the company plans to open a Reserve Roastery in Chicago that will span 43,000 square feet.

DIGITAL: The Shanghai Roastery is the first Starbucks location to seamlessly integrate a real-time, in-store and online customer experience. The success of the Seattle Roastery, which opened in late 2014, demonstrated to Starbucks the potential for more upscale locations and provided a blueprint for the other Roasteries in the works around the world. The company has more than 3,000 stores across 136 cities in China.

But despite all of Shanghai Roastery's features, it's still a coffee shop at heart.

Starbucks is calling the Shanghai Roastery "the largest, most attractive Starbucks location in the world". Same-store sales gained 8 percent in the country during the most recent quarter, compared with 2 percent globally.

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