Three years after the company opened its first roastery on its home turf, Starbucks is testing the larger, upmarket store concept overseas for the first time in China, where it now has 3,000 sites.
China is the company's fastest-growing market with more than 3,000 stores across 136 cities.
You used to go to Starbucks to buy the beans in your Frappuccino or flat white, but with experience, it's your brand loyalty that's really being bought. 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.
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Schultz said on Tuesday at a briefing in Shanghai that it was obvious to the company that the holding power for Starbucks in China will be more significant than the USA holding power.
As customers enter the new Roastery, they are greeted by the sight of a two-story, copper cask, adorned with more than 1,000 traditional Chinese chops (or stamps) that have been hand-engraved to narrate the story of Starbucks and coffee.
At the same time, revenue from Starbucks Asia-Pacific region represented close to 15% of the revenue for Starbucks during its fiscal year that ended during October.
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It will also host the Teavana Bar - its first outlet in China specifically offering a range of Chinese teas.
On Wednesday, Starbucks is opening its biggest cafe in the world in Shanghai.
But despite all of Shanghai Roastery's features, it's still a coffee shop at heart. Sales in same-stores were up by 8% in China in the most recent quarter, in comparison to an increase globally of just 2%.
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"With the rising middle class and the opportunity in China, the market is going to be much larger here", he said, adding Starbucks was looking to hit 10,000 outlets in China within a decade, catching up with the U.S. in terms of stores.