The first Starbucks Reserve Roastery outside the United States opened in Shanghai on December 6, with the help from Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group, Shanghai-based news site ThePaper.cn reported.
The two-story, 30,000-square-foot roastery will be the company’s second roastery after Seattle, with the aim of creating a real-time, in-store, and online customer experience.
The roastery is powered by Alibaba’s mobile Taobao app and the company’s augmented reality (AR) technology.
The technology allows customers to see a special webpage offering them a detailed map of both floors, menus of the different kinds of coffee, and the process of coffee making, in their smart phones.
Schultz Howard, executive chairman of Starbucks, said at an opening ceremony on Tuesday that his company will team up with Alibaba for more technology cooperation.
Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group, who was also present at the ceremony, said his group will expand cooperation with Starbucks in the future.
He said Starbucks has introduced coffee to China, a tea-drinking country, and let so many people fall in love with coffee. “Personally, I’m not a fan of coffee, but I like Starbucks,” he said.
China is Starbucks’ fastest-growing market, according to the company. Starbucks currently has 3,000 stores in 136 cities, and 600 in Shanghai alone.