What store occupies 30,000 feet of space, has an 88-foot-long bar, and uses augmented reality technology?

Answer: The world's largest Starbucks store in Shanghai, China.

by / December 11, 2017
A Starbucks outlet used to be a sign that a city had hit it big. Now, the stores and other once-exclusive amenities are in small and big cities alike.

The Shanghai Roastery, which opened on Dec. 6, is the latest Starbucks location following the franchise's "roastery" store design, which the coffee behemoth introduced in 2014. The roasteries are larger than the average Starbucks store, and roast single-origin beans onsite using a variety of different methods. Shanghai’s roastery will feature beans from more than 30 countries.

The roastery also boasts a technological feature never before seen in a Starbucks: augmented reality. Customers can view additional information about the coffee in the store by directing their smartphones at various items. They can also unlock “virtual badges” that can be shared via social media.

The roastery includes a Teavana bar, the first in China, that is made from 3-D-printed recycled materials. There is also a Princi bakery, a recent addition to Starbucks roasteries elsewhere in the world, that bakes artisan pastries and breads onsite.

Roastery stores will reportedly be making their way to the U.S. in 2018 in New York and 2019 in Chicago. Whether or not either of them will surpass the Shanghai store to earn the title of “world’s largest Starbucks” is still unknown.