Starbucks Shanghai Reserve Roastery Features AR, Innovative Design

Image credit – Joshua Trujillo  Starbucks

On Tuesday, Starbucks opened the 30,000-square-foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai. Customers can point their smartphones around the roastery for an augmented reality experience.

Starbucks has opened a stunning location in China that is 300 times bigger than the average coffee shop.

Starbucks debuted its upscale Roastery format three years ago, in its Seattle hometown. Starbuck will open another Roastery in Milan, Italy in 2018 and Chicago in 2019.

But the Shanghai roastery won't hold the title of largest Starbucks for too long. Customers at the cavernous new outlet on the West Nanjing Road shopping strip can watch beans being roasted, sample high-end brews and use a Starbucks augmented-reality digital app to interact with the store.

If that isn't enough technology for you, the roastery is also home to the world's first tea bar made up of 3D-printed recycled materials. Tea products are a struggling subsidiary that Starbucks is eager to revive.

Starbucks expanded its investment in China in July, when it announced plans to buy out the partners in its East China joint venture. It also sold Tazo, another tea brand, to Unilever in November. Your phone will tell you it mirrors the signature copper cask at the inaugural Reserve Roastery in Seattle.

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The Roastery cafe includes three wooden coffee bars and a dedicated bar that offers China's traditional drink, tea.

He also said that China was becoming the most important market for Starbucks. Sales in same-stores were up by 8% in China in the most recent quarter, in comparison to an increase globally of just 2%. In the fiscal year 2017, Chinese sales grew by 7 percent, while global sales grew by 3 percent.

"The affinity we have built with our partners (employees) and customers over the past 18 years in China is special", said Howard Schultz, executive chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company in a statement.

Starbucks is going venti in China.

It would be all too easy to dismiss China's new Starbucks Roastery as a novel publicity stunt.

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