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In the Spotlight: Starbucks’ Glossy New Shanghai Roastery

SB-Shanghai

Starbucks is opening its 30,000-square-foot Roastery in Shanghai on Wednesday. It’s the second Starbucks Roastery, launching three years after the first opened in Seattle. China is the company’s fastest growing market, and Shanghai already has 600 regular Starbucks stores. (Courtesy of Starbucks)

Three years after Starbucks debuted the Roastery on Capitol Hill as a playground for coffee aficionados, the company Wednesday is taking the wraps off a China version twice as large to introduce its most exclusive and expensive beans to its fastest growing market.

Three years after Starbucks debuted the Roastery on Capitol Hill as a playground for coffee aficionados, the company Wednesday is taking the wraps off a Shanghai version twice as large to introduce its most exclusive and expensive beans to its fastest-growing market.

Photos of the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery show a glitzy wonderland of marketing theater, its center stage dominated by a massive, two-story copper cask emblazoned with Chinese chops.

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Chinese chops, or stamps, are displayed to tell the story of Starbucks and its Reserve coffee. (Courtesy of Starbucks)

Starbucks said the ceiling of the 30,000-square-foot retail showpiece is covered by 10,000 hexagonal wooden tiles, all handmade. Not everything is low-tech, however. The company said that working with Alibaba Group, China’s big online retailer, it has developed an augmented-reality app that lets visitors learn more about the process of roasting and preparing coffee, and rewards them for exploring the Roastery.

Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz said in an interview last month that the typical customer at the Seattle Roastery spends about four times as much as at a conventional  …  (read more)

via The Seattle Times

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