SHANGHAI: Starbucks is opening its biggest cafe in the world in Shanghai on Wednesday (Dec 6).
The mega store, which Starbucks calls a Reserve Roastery, is only the second one of its kind after the outlet in Seattle.
At 30,000 sq ft – about half the size of a football pitch – the Shanghai Roastery promises to be a “fully immersive coffee wonderland”, said the coffee giant on its website.
Located at 789 Nanjing Road W, it is home to a 27m coffee bar, Starbucks’ longest in the world. A defining feature of the cafe is a two-storey copper coffee roasting cask.
Starbucks is also touting its first in-store augmented reality (AR) experience.
Customers can position their phones in front of key features around the Roastery to get digital information on things like the various brewing methods.
The outlet doesn’t only serve up coffee, there is also a tea bar as well as a baked goods section where items are made onsite daily.
Speaking to Channel NewsAsia in Shanghai, Starbucks’ executive chairman Howard Schultz said there is no doubt that China will overtake United States are its biggest market.
“I don’t know when exactly. But there’s no doubt in my mind China will be the largest market in the world for Starbucks,” said Mr Schultz. Currently, 70 per cent of the company’s revenue still comes from the US.
“In year 2000 we had 3,000 stores in the US and now we have 10,000 in the US. So it took us 18 years to go from 3,000 to 10,000. It will take us half that time to get to 10,000 in China. So the China growth will pass the US,” he added.
Starbucks currently has more than 3,000 stores in China, with 600 in Shanghai alone.
“You’ll see us do things in China based on the consumers’ preference for mobile device and technology that’ll add to the growth and revenue and relevance to the brand,” said Mr Shultz. “In addition to that, we’ll continue to open at least a store a day.”
Additional reporting by Valarie Tan