Perk up, Shanghai: Crowds throng world’s biggest Starbucks

Starbucks opened its world's largest coffee shop in Shanghai on Wednesday as the American drinks giant focuses on the emerging coffee culture in a country traditionally known for its tea.

The opening of the huge two-storey store in a downtown shopping district was crowded with hundreds of customers, some of whom were waiting more than an hour in long lines of business. waiting for a block of scenes reminiscent of a new iPhone. release.

The cafe sits on 2700 square meters (30 000 square feet) – almost half of a soccer field – and is the second largest roaster of Starbucks Reserve, a larger type of store offering coffees, teas and coffees infused beer with a personalized barista service. The first roasting shop opened in Seattle's home town of Starbucks in 2014.

Starbucks already has more than 3,000 of its standard coffees in 136 Chinese cities, including more than 600 in Shanghai alone, the largest number of stores in any city in the world.

A new Starbucks opens every 15 hours in China, according to the company.

President Howard Schultz told Bloomberg News Tuesday, before the store's opening, that China was on the verge of becoming its biggest market in less than ten years.

"It is clear to us that China's holding power for Starbucks is going to be much more important than the US's holding power," he said.

The store has a "Willy Wonka" feel, with a giant two-story barrel containing tons of freshly roasted beans that are sent to different coffee bars by tubes that snake along the ceiling, while beans Packaged are walking on the conveyor belts.

Zhao Fei, a paper trafficker, said that prices of beverages of up to 78 yuan ($ 11.80) for some cafes would scare many Chinese customers.

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