06 December, 2017
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 affinity we have built with our partners [employees] and customers over the past 18 years in China is special, and we knew we must bring the Reserve Roastery, our boldest, most-premium store ever, to Shanghai", said Howard Schultz, executive chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company, in a statement.
Located on Nanjing Road West, the city's most famous shopping street, the 30,000 sq ft store will offer customers a high-end experience and will include a "Reserve roastery" which will allow customers to watch beans being roasted.
The firm held a 54.8 percent share of China's 25.2 billion yuan ($3.81 billion) specialist coffee shop market past year, far ahead of rivals like McDonald's Corp's McCafe and Whitbread Plc's Costa Coffee, Euromonitor data show.
DIGITAL: The Shanghai Roastery is the first Starbucks location to seamlessly integrate a real-time, in-store and online customer experience.
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Starbucks' new Shanghai store is 30,000 square feet. Same-store sales gained 8 percent in the country during the most recent quarter, compared with 2 percent globally. That's up from 5.5 percent five years earlier. Most of those visits occur between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., but he said the stores are starting to see more residents adopt the American habit of drinking coffee in the morning.
"Chinese consumers, especially the younger generation, are looking for things more quality-driven, more unique, that speaks to who they are", said Jack Chuang, a Shanghai-based partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants who has studied the Chinese coffee market.
Coffee shop aficionados, take notice.
The company is playing to that perception with its new Shanghai shop.
In the run up to the opening, the Starbucks publicity machine has been in overdrive, hitting social media sites and chat rooms with news and details of he launch.