Starbucks launches interactive coffee experience in Shanghai as it boosts presence in China

Starbucks has launched its Roasted Reserve interactive store in China

Starbucks has launched its interactive coffee and retail store, Reserve Roastery, in Shanghai as the brand looks to expand its presence in its fastest growing market.

Shanghai’s Reserve Roastery is a fully interactive experience which enables consumers to point their mobile phones at features throughout the store to unlock augmented reality experiences.

The AR experience is powered by Alibaba Group’s scene-recognition technology and users can access digital experiences, such as viewing menus, ordering special coffee blends and booking customised experiences via a dedicated Roastery app or through Alibaba’s Taobao app.

Customers can also visit Tmall to purchase Shanghai Roastery and Reserve branded merchandise and coffee for home delivery.

The store merges online and offline experiences as well as featuring custom-made fixtures such as three handcrafted wooden coffee bars, a 3-D printed tea bar, and a two-story, copper cask, engraved with traditional Chinese stamps that tell the story of Starbucks and coffee.

Starbucks is looking to leverage its huge growth in China, which is currently the brand's fastest growing market, where a new store opens every 15 hours. Starbucks currently has more than 3,000 stores across 136 cities. Shanghai is a particularly significant market for Starbucks and its 600 stores make it the largest presence in any city around the globe.

Howard Schultz, executive chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company, said the Reserve Roastery, was Starbucks’ “boldest, most premium store ever”.

“The affinity we have built with our partners (employees) and customers over the past 18 years in China is special and we knew we must bring the Reserve Roastery to Shanghai, China’s bustling metropolitan hub and one of the world’s most dynamic retail destinations, as well as a gateway to customers from across Asia and the world.

“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."

It is the first Reserve Roastery to launch in Asia and follows the launch of the inaugural Seattle Roastery three years ago.

Earlier this year, The Drum spoke with Starbucks co-founder Zev Siegl about the brand's past and future.

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Danielle Long

Danielle Long is APAC Correspondent for The Drum with a remit to cover news from China, Australia and New Zealand. Danielle has 15 years experience as a marketing journalist and has worked on publications in the UK and Australia. She has interviewed some of the world’s leading marketing, advertising and creative brains and has written about almost every standout brand and marketing campaign from the last 15 years.

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