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How big can Starbucks grow? Try China, home to its largest cafe at 30,000 square feet

By in Press Enterprise on December 5, 2017

By Bloomberg

Starbucks sees China surpassing the U.S. as its largest market within a decade as it counts on the country’s affluent consumers to offset stagnant growth in the rest of the world.

On Wednesday, Starbucks is opening its biggest cafe in the world in Shanghai. The 30,000 square-feet store — about half the size of a soccer field — is part of upscale moves championed by founder and Chairman Howard Schultz. Customers at the cavernous new outlet on the West Nanjing Road shopping strip can watch beans being roasted, sample high-end brews and use a Starbucks augmented-reality digital app to interact with the store.

Starbucks on Wednesday, Dec. 6 is opening its biggest cafe in the world in Shanghai. Customers at the cavernous new outlet on the West Nanjing Road shopping strip can watch beans being roasted, sample high-end brews and use a Starbucks augmented-reality digital app to interact with the store. (Bloomberg)

The roaster also plans to roll out mobile ordering and delivery of drinks and store goods in China, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in an interview in Shanghai. The company will team up with a strategic partner to help it with the service, he said.

The Seattle-based company is homing in on its fastest-growing market as it searches for ways to kick-start sluggish global sales after saturating the U.S. with lattes and cappuccinos. 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 currently has 3,000 sites.

“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 U.S.,” Schultz said Tuesday at a briefing to unveil the new cafe. China is on course to be the company’s […]    

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