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Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Step Inside the World's Largest Starbucks Location

Step Inside the World's Largest Starbucks Location

Coffee chain giant Starbucks is set to open its biggest cafe in Shanghai, as it steps up its operations in China amid cooling growth in the US.

No matter how many Starbucks stores you've been to, you've definitely never seen one like this. Customers can point their mobile devices at key features around the Roastery to immerse themselves in Starbuck's first augmented reality (AR) experience, which is accessible through the custom-designed Roastery digital web-app platform or on Alibaba's Taobao app.

"As our first global Roastery, we will take even bolder steps to make this Shanghai location our most stunning store", Howard Schultz, executive chairman of the Seattle-based company, said in a company statement.

"The roastery is not just a new physical environment, it is an opportunity to create a new super premium brand, Starbucks Reserve", Schultz said. "We have over 600 stores in Shanghai", Schultz said. Your phone will tell you it mirrors the signature copper cask at the inaugural Reserve Roastery in Seattle.

At the 30,000-square-foot store, the beans are roasted on site and the coffee is meant to be an experience.

Here's what it's like to visit the Shanghai Roastery, the most over-the-top Starbucks in the world.

An augmented reality app is used in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China.

The company has already has plans to open an even bigger store in Chicago in 2019. It's home to three "coffee experience bars", one of which is 88 feet long, making it the longest Starbucks coffee bar in the world.

It will also host the Teavana Bar - its first outlet in China specifically offering a range of Chinese teas.

Despite a long, proud history of tea drinking and the fact that a tall latte costs as much as $4.69 in China, people have taken to coffee and culture of Starbucks with its specialty drinks and free Wi-Fi and bathrooms. Last quarter, China posted an 8 percent increase, compared with a 3 percent gain in the USA, excluding impacts from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Starbucks opened its first store in China in 1999 in Beijing.

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