Starbucks' scene-recognition software and AR experience is powered through a partnership with Alibaba Holding Group Ltd.
With 28 million residents of Shanghai and 600 million middle class Chinese consumers clamoring for Western experiences, Starbucks is ready for a spectacular growth trajectory in China, where it already operates more than 3,000 stores (600 in Shanghai alone) across 136 cities and employs nearly 50,000 employees.
SHANGHAI | Starbucks has opened on Wednesday in Shanghai its more spacious facility world, at a time when the american giant intends to establish itself in China, a country where the consumption of coffee explodes after having always been confidential.
The store in Shanghai is 30,000-square-foot, and it is the second Reserve Roastery of Starbucks.
Unlike many Starbucks sites, Shanghai's Reserve Roastery sells beer and wine, including a craft beer made from Kenya, Colombia and Guatemala coffees. It's as if they've gone through the looking glass via their phones, peering inside the cask to watch an animated version of newly roasted beans dropping into the cask.
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There's a two-story, four-ton copper cask where freshly-roasted coffee beans are stored and more than 1,000 traditional Chinese "chops" or stamps which tell the story of Starbucks. Although Shanghai already has over 600 Starbuck stores, Shanghai's Roastery is twice the size of Seattle's.
The first Starbucks augmented reality (AR) experience is available, either through the Roastery app or on Alibaba's Taobao app. "We didn't want people to have to queue".
With this new AR feature, guests can virtually see the animated beans rest before being whisked through copper pipes to the coffee bars, as they read about the process of turning a bean into a cup of coffee. In 2018, the company planned to open Roasteries in Milan and NY, and in 2019, Starbucks will open Roasteries in Tokyo and Chicago. "We wanted to enable them to order wherever they want".
Zhao Fei, a paper trader, said drink prices running up to 78 yuan ($11.80) for some coffees would scare off many Chinese customers. In addition to being able to place an order and pay directly from their phones, customers will also be alerted digitally when their order is ready to be picked up, the release said. After earning them all, they can receive a custom Roastery social media filter to share online. And on a pure design level, Shanghai Roastery is a wow. It offers unique beverage menu items not found at any other Starbucks in China, including more than 100 beverages such as Teavana tea infused with nitrogen and brewed with Steampunk that uses steam to extract unique flavors from each tea leaf.
The new Starbucks-branded attraction is the first to open outside of the USA and roughly twice the size of the original Reserve Roastery in Seattle.