Starbucks opens largest store in the world

By Food and BeverageFOXBusiness

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is going big—really big—in China.

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The company announced it’s opening its biggest store yet in Shanghai on Wednesday.

The new location will be 30,000 square-foot—about half the size of a soccer field. The move is part of the coffee chain’s plan to hone in on its fasting-growing market—China—after saturating the U.S. market with more than 11,000 stores.

1. An inside look at Reserve Roastery in Shanghai

The Shanghai Roastery will become the first Starbucks location, and the first-of-its kind in China, to seamlessly integrate a real-time, in-store and online customer experience, the company said. Roastery customers are invited to immerse themselves in the first Starbucks augmented reality (AR) experience-accessible through the custom-designed Roastery digital web-app platform or on Alibaba’s (NYSE:BABA) Taobao app.

Additionally, the 30,000 square-foot location will debut food baked on-site by Italian food purveyor, Rocco Princi, for the first time ever in China.

2. Why Shanghai?

China is Starbucks fasting growing market with a store opening every 15 hours with more than 3,000 stores across 136 cities. Shanghai, in particular, is its biggest market with more than 600 stores.

3. A tribute to China’s tea culture

The new Shanghai Roastery will also feature China’s first Starbucks Teavana Bar as a tribute to its deep culture. Starbucks said, “while demonstrating deep respect for the thousands of years of Chinese tea tradition, the Starbucks® Teavana Bar reimagines a modern tea experience for customers who increasingly seek new and different tastes and experiences. Customers to the tea experience bar can select a Teavana signature pure tea or blend, served either hot or iced. Using only the finest tea ingredients in the world, tea curators handcraft unexpected creations with tea mixology as well as nitrogen and tea.”

4. Executive Chairman Howard Schultz on the opening

Schultz said the company wanted to bring its most premium store location ever to Shanghai because it’s one of the world’s most dynamic retail destinations as well as a “gateway to customers from across Asia and the world.” He said while the space is in China, the location overall celebrates the company’s 46-year history of being a coffee leader.