Thus, Starbucks envisages making mainland China a vital market by opening 5,000 cafes there by 2021. It is the company's fastest growing market and they are expanding rapidly.
Executive chairman Howard Schultz, speaking at the launch of Starbucks' first overseas "Reserve Roastery" - an opulent flagship store with gourmet coffees and a bakery - said China was on track to be "bigger, more powerful and more significant" than the firm's United States business. The Shanghai Reserve roastery will be the first Starbucks store globally to offer its Yunnan Reserve coffee, a yellow-honey-process coffee from Yunnan, while Reserve-line coffees from approximately 30 other origins will be available throughout the year.
Located on west side of Nanjing Road, Shanghai's busiest shopping and tourism district, the two-story Starbucks will be the largest in the world, checking every box on the retail buzzwords list: augmented reality, fully immersive experience, 3-D printing and local growing.
"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. The store has more than 400 employees and can serve up to 550 people at a time, according to the Seattle-based company.
And Starbucks is playing to that image with this new shop in Shanghai. This includes over 600 stores in Shanghai - the largest number of stores in any city where Starbucks has a presence.
Starbucks' new Shanghai store is 30,000 square feet.
One of the three coffee bars is 88 feet long.
"With the growth of Starbucks in Shanghai, we believe we have to open a roastery here", said Howard Schultz, executive chairman of Starbucks, at the opening ceremony Tuesday.
It will also host the Teavana Bar - its first outlet in China specifically offering a range of Chinese teas. Same-store sales gained 8 percent in the country during the most recent quarter, compared with 2 percent globally.
In Wu Qiong's small cafe in downtown Shanghai, coffee beans nestle in glass jars on the bar while various brews bubble away behind the counter. Our corner Starbucks store suddenly seems inadequate!