SHANGHAI: Starbucks, a US-based beverage juggernaut, on Wednesday launched its largest café in the world in Shanghai as it placed a significant wager on the country’s emerging coffee culture, which is changing the country’s traditional tea-drinking reputation.
Hundreds of people flocked to the opening of the large, two-story location in a crowded central shopping area, some of whom waited in lines that extended for blocks outside for more than an hour. The sight reminded one of the anticipation around the debut of a new iPhone.
The 2,700 square metre cafe is the company’s second Starbucks Reserve Roastery, a larger type of store that offers premium coffees, teas, and coffee-infused beer along with a specialised barista service.Seattle, the birthplace of Starbucks, welcomed its first roastery in 2014.
In 136 Chinese cities, including more than 600 in Shanghai alone, Starbucks now has more than 3,000 of its regular cafes, making it the metropolis with the most outlets in the entire globe.According to the firm, a new Starbucks opens in China every 15 hours.
We can see right away that Starbucks’ holding power in China will be significantly greater than its holding power in the US.With a massive two-story cask storing tonnes of freshly roasted beans that are sent to the cafe’s numerous bars via tubing that snakes around the ceiling, the establishment has a “Willy Wonka” vibe.