Step Inside the World's Largest Starbucks Location

An augmented reality app is used in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai China

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 USA business.

The Shanghai Roastery will also be the first of Starbucks' 27,000 locations worldwide, and the first of its kind in China, to seamlessly integrate a real-time, in-store and online customer experience, powered by Alibaba's Mobile Taobao app and the company's augmented-reality (AR) technology.

It is the company's fastest growing market and they are expanding rapidly. Customers at this attractive outlet settled on the West Nanjing Road shopping strip, now can watch beans being roasted, sample high-end brews and use a Starbucks augmented-reality digital app to interact with the store. Revenue from the Asia-Pacific region accounted for nearly 15 percent of Starbucks' revenue for the fiscal year ended in October.

The "Starbucks Reserve Roastery" is on Nanjing Road West, the city's most-famous shopping street, and has been hotly promoted for months on social media.

Starbucks is looking to leverage its huge growth in China, which is now the brand's fastest growing market, where a new store opens every 15 hours. Three wooden coffee bars stretching up to 27 meters (88 feet) long and handcrafted by Chinese artisans will serve as the stage for hundreds of baristas and six brewing methods: ModBar Pour Over, Chemex, Coffee Press, Siphon, Espresso and the proprietary Clover-brewed coffee.

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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".

Starbucks' new Shanghai store is 30,000 square feet.

On Wednesday, Starbucks is opening its biggest cafe in the world in Shanghai. Sales in same-stores were up by 8% in China in the most recent quarter, in comparison to an increase globally of just 2%.

Executive Chairman Howard Schultz said the store would blend the company's 46-year history in the coffee shop business with "China's rich, diverse culture".

Starbucks expanded its investment in China in July, when it announced plans to buy out the partners in its East China joint venture. In the fiscal year 2017, Chinese sales grew by 7 percent, while global sales grew by 3 percent.

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