Starbucks to Go "Venti" in China

Starbucks

But Starbucks, which entered China 18 years ago, still sees remarkably strong growth in China, where many consumers view it as an aspirational brand. Starbucks owns 3,000 stores across 136 cities, with 600 stores only in Shanghai.

It will also host the Teavana Bar - its first outlet in China which specifically offers a range of Chinese teas.

"It's obvious to us that the holding power of China for Starbucks is going to be much more significant than the holding power of the U.S.", Schultz said Tuesday at a briefing to unveil the new cafe.

"We've created a space that both recognizes and celebrates our 46-year history of coffee leadership and retail innovation with China's rich, diverse culture".

That celebration goes well beyond the glitz of the new experiential marketing site.

Over two floors, Starbuck's Shanghai Roastery is the size of a soccer field and is said to be the brand's most hi-tech store yet. The charitable donation is part of the Starbucks Foundation's ongoing commitment to contribute meaningful and enduring social impact through poverty alleviation.

The Starbucks Roastery follows Smith & Sinclair's "experiential" chocolate shop in Britain's John Lewis, and the sensor-decked NikeLab in London and NY stores past year.

But let's get back to the specs. Yet the Reserve Roastery is quite unlike any of the existing 3,000 Starbucks stores throughout China, offering immersive coffee- and tea-focused experiences throughout multiple stories.

One of its three coffee bars is 88-feet long, the longest Starbucks bar in the world - because waiting in line is so 2016. Customers to the tea experience bar can select a Teavana signature pure tea or blend, served either hot or iced.

Starbucks worked with Alibaba Group to provide the augmented reality experiences and some light explanations of coffee-making.

In addition, the Roastery digital web-app platform also incorporates a digital menu and will intuitively, through AR technology, share details of the coffee bars, brewing methods, as well as other not-to-be-missed unique online and offline experiences.

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