Starbucks is opening a store in China every 15 hours

Starbucks is opening a store in China every 15 hours

Starbucks is opening a store in China every 15 hours

Starbucks, the Seattle-based coffee company, will open a 30,000 square-feet store in Shanghai on December 6.

Starbucks Corps views China as passing the United States as its biggest market within the next ten years as it believes the growing number of affluent consumers in the country will offset sluggish growth across the rest of the globe. It's the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery - the company's new retail offering - outside the U.S. Customers can book coffee tasting experiences on Alibaba's e-commerce site and also buy special Starbucks Reserve coffee and related products tied to the store's launch.

China is critical for Starbucks.

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Starbucks is now building more net new company-operated stores in China than the US, said CEO Kevin Johnson, who replaced CEO Howard Schultz in April when the longtime leader transitioned into the role of executive chairman.

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"The roastery is not just a new physical environment, it is an opportunity to create a new super premium brand, Starbucks Reserve", Schultz said. Starbucks Roastery stores are the company's new upscale coffeehouses in major metros.

Starbucks' new Shanghai store is 30,000 square feet.

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".

In a sign of the times, Starbucks partnered with Chinese tech giant Alibaba to aggressively promote the Shanghai store opening online.

But despite all of Shanghai Roastery's features, it's still a coffee shop at heart. In the third quarter ending October 1, China's comparable store sales grew 8 percent, compared to a 2 percent global growth and 2 percent growth in the US market. It's the second Starbucks' Roastery to open and is twice the size of its flagship location in Seattle. In the fiscal year 2017, Chinese sales grew by 7 percent, while global sales grew by 3 percent.

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