Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Starbucks Reserve Roastery opens in Shanghai

Starbucks Reserve Roastery opens in Shanghai

Roastery locations offer a bigger, more luxurious experience for coffee-lovers and sell drinks not found on regular Starbucks stores across the world.

The AR experience is powered by Alibaba Group's scene-recognition technology and users can access digital experiences, such as viewing menus, ordering special coffee blends and booking customised experiences via a dedicated Roastery app or through Alibaba's Taobao app.

The location is Starbucks' second "Reserve Roastery" in the world.

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"Chinese consumers, especially the younger generation, are looking for things more quality-driven, more unique, that speaks to who they are", said Jack Chuang, a Shanghai-based partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants who has studied the Chinese coffee market. See all the photos of the breathtaking Roastery ahead and prepare to crave a good cup of coffee.

The company is riding that wave and expanding aggressively in China, opening a new Starbucks store every 15 hours on average.

You'd think the US, with its love for coffee that gets separated into dedicated seasons like pumpkin spice and peppermint mocha, would be in the running for the title of Starbucks Capital of the World.

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Starbucks' same-store sales in China rose 8 per cent during the most recent quarter, beating its global 2 per cent growth.

There's also pricey merch for sale, such as a wooly gray cap with a "Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai" patch ($55.80) and a $90 coffee press.

Same-store sales at U.S. cafes were up 2% for the quarter ended 1 October, while sales in China were up 8%. The brand plans to open the concept in Milan and NY in 2018 and Tokyo and Chicago in 2019.

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"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.

A Starbucks "partner" makes a siphon brew in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. The ambitious storefront is being called the Shanghai Reserve Roastery and looks more like a resort than a cafe.

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