Zhao Fei, a paper trader, said drink prices running up to 78 yuan ($11.80) for some coffees would scare off many Chinese customers.
Unlike many Starbucks sites, Shanghai's Reserve Roastery sells beer and wine, including a craft beer made from Kenya, Colombia and Guatemala coffees. Called the Starbucks Roastery Shanghai, the outlet measures an astounding 30,000 sq ft - that is nearly half of a football field.
The location has three coffee bars offering multiple brewing methods and some of the rarest small-lot coffees in the world, a Teavana tea "experience" bar, and freshly baked Italian artisanal food by Princi, Starbucks' exclusive Roastery food partner.
Coils of long copper pipes crisscross the ceiling, carrying coffee beans from the Copper Cask to the main bar.
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Sounding more and more like a coffee-themed amusement park, customers can also use their phones to enhance their experience once they've gotten their caffeine fix - "All along the way, customers can point their mobile devices around the Roastery for even more moments of discovery as they immerse themselves in the augmented reality (AR) experience". "They can bring the Starbucks Roastery home with them, to continue enjoying and even share the experience with others".
Starbucks just topped their rapid expansion efforts in China by opening a massive 30,000 square-foot roastery in Shanghai that's touted as their biggest store in the world. It is the largest in any Starbucks store.
According to the press release, "China is the company's fastest-growing market with more than 3,000 stores across 136 cities", and in Shanghai alone, "Starbucks already has more than 600 stores - the largest number of stores in any city where Starbucks has a presence".
Chairman Howard Schultz told Bloomberg News that China is on its way to become the company's largest market in less than a decade."It's obvious to us that the holding power of China for Starbucks is going to be much more significant than the holding power of the United States", he added. "We've created a space that both recognizes and celebrates our 46-year history of coffee leadership and retail innovation with China's rich, diverse culture".