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The world's biggest Starbucks is opening its doors in Shanghai, China

The world's biggest Starbucks is opening its doors in Shanghai, China

Executive Chairman Howard Schultz said the store would blend the company's 46-year history in the coffee shop business with "China's rich, diverse culture".

China is Starbucks' fast-growing and most important overseas market.

The 30,000 square-feet Starbucks Reserve Roastery on the famous West Nanjing Road shopping strip will open its doors on 6 December. Customers will be able to watch green beans being roasted and sent through copper "symphony" pipes, where they'll end up either in silos at the Roaster's coffee bars or in the in-house distribution line for packaging. 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.

It is the second such high-end concept store opened by the coffee chain after the first opened in Seattle three years ago. "We can build new stores in China for decades and still have [an] opportunity for growth there".

"One, you must be focused on experiential retail that creates an experience in your store that becomes a destination for the customer", Johnson explained when asked about what physical retailers must consider in 2017.

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In addition, Starbucks has included an augmented reality or AR experience for people who visit Shanghai's Roastery. Shanghai location is Starbucks' biggest store to date, and also its most advanced digitally.

On Wednesday, Starbucks is opening its biggest cafe in the world in Shanghai.

At the 88-foot-long bar (one of many places to snag a cup at the store), you can sip reserve coffee or nitrogen-infused Teavana teas brewed using an innovative steaming method.

Green coffee is loaded in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. Same-store sales gained 8 percent in the country during the most recent quarter, compared with 2 percent globally. There's also pricey merch for sale, such as a wooly gray cap with a "Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai" patch ($55.80) and a $90 coffee press. Across the street in an office building is a much more basic Starbucks, because there seems to be a Starbucks on every major street corner in town.

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