Coffee giant Starbucks has officially opened its biggest ever coffee shop in China.
The Seattle-based company is homing in on its fastest-growing market as it searches for ways to kick-start sluggish global sales after saturating the USA with lattes and cappuccinos.
Starbucks announces the opening of a "premium reserve roastery experience" in Shanghai with the "first fully-immersive coffee wonderland" in China. Customers can point their mobile devices around the Roastery for the Starbucks AR experience - accessible through the custom-designed Roastery digital web-app platform or on Alibaba's Taobao app.
"With the rising middle class and the opportunity in China, the market is going to be much larger here", he said, adding Starbucks was looking to hit 10,000 outlets in China within a decade, catching up with the United States in terms of stores.
"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. Meanwhile, the Shanghai reserve roastery has teamed up with Alibaba for technology cooperation, according to Schultz.
Starbucks' global growth has been sluggish recently but China could hold the answer. Shanghai location is Starbucks' biggest store to date, and also its most advanced digitally. Your phone will tell you it mirrors the signature copper cask at the inaugural Reserve Roastery in Seattle. Princi is the exclusive food offering in all Starbucks Roastery locations, including Seattle, Shanghai and upcoming locations. The location has gourmet drinks - like nitrogen-infused teas - and an 88-foot-long, hand-crafted coffee bar.
The Shanghai store also sells Teavana tea for the first time, in what's called a "3-D printing tea bar".
Unlike in the US, Starbucks' challenge in China has been winning over traditional tea drinkers to coffee, rather than fending off local rivals. Last quarter, China posted an 8 percent increase, compared with a 3 percent gain in the US, excluding impacts from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Across the street in an office building is a much more basic Starbucks, because there seems to be a Starbucks on every major street corner in town.