China has seen tremendous economic growth in the past few decades, and global brands are rapidly shifting their focus to capture this growing market. A recent article posted by Eater outlines the plans for Starbucks’ expansion into Shanghai. While Starbucks is already operating in China, this plan calls for the construction of a huge 30,000 square foot complex, offering way more than the normal Starbucks store. With the recent growth in the coffee “boutique” experience, it seems a natural extension to bring this experience to the Chinese market.
The facility that Starbucks is planning is intended to be a full-service facility, where customers can watch coffee being roasted and take educational classes, as well as chat with baristas and purchase small-batch boutique coffees. They intend to offer an experience curated for the Chinese consumer, including regional food and drink choices. This is one example of Starbucks trying out larger and more impressive combinations of roasting facilities and retail merged together. Starbucks has also built one of these facilities in Seattle, Washington, with much fanfare and celebration.
This bold move is part of Starbucks’ overall swing towards China, following global market trends. In a recent interview, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz suggested that in the near future, China could have a larger percentage of Starbucks stores than the United States. While this bet will play out over time, Starbucks is heavily leaning on anticipated growth in China.