Starbucks celebrated its 6,000th store in the Chinese mainland, which opens on September 30 at Shanghai Lippo Plaza, where the company opened its first store in Shanghai more than 20 years ago. The new store marks Starbucks 1,000th in Shanghai – making it the first city in the world to pass the milestone. The latest addition to Starbucks growing portfolio of “Greener Stores” also features leading sustainability solutions and digitalized operations. To commemorate the milestone, Starbucks is launching “Shanghai Coffee” in Crema Ristretto style – its first city-themed handcrafted coffee creation in China as a tribute to the city and its coffee lovers.
“As Starbucks celebrates our 6,000th store in China, we are deeply humbled to return where we opened our first store in Shanghai,” said Leo Tsoi, chief executive officer, Starbucks China. “It has been a privilege to share our love for coffee with local customers, and contribute to the development of China’s coffee culture and its specialty coffee industry over the past two decades. We treasure the strong connections we have built, and will never stop innovating new coffee products and experiences to delight our customers and earn their support every day.”
Since entering the Chinese mainland market, Starbucks has become known as a place for connection, familiarity and joy, interwoven into Chinese consumers’ daily lifestyles from social gatherings with friends and family, to casual business meetings and more. It continues to innovate and scale creative store concepts to serve customers and communities, such as Signing Stores that provide employment opportunities for Deaf and hard of hearing partners (employees), Heritage Culture Gallery Stores that bring heritage culture closer to Chinese consumers, and a co-working space concept store providing flexible, on-demand co-working spaces for mobile professionals.
The new Shanghai Lippo Plaza Store bears testament to the continuous evolution of Starbucks stores in China’s dynamic consumer landscape. It features a clean and streamlined design, brought to life with minimalist style furniture and casework made using recycled straw material. Old green aprons donned by Starbucks partners were upcycled to create the store’s signature artwork – an iconic Starbucks siren with intricate design details that relay important milestones in Starbucks journey in China. From the store’s mall entrance, customers are greeted by a mug wall made up of a vast collection of Starbucks signature city mugs launched over the years.
Beyond its contemporary design, the evolution of Starbucks stores is also reflected in the Shanghai Lippo Plaza Store’s back-of-house operations, where investments in digital technologies have enhanced the partner experience and elevated store efficiency to a whole new level. The use of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and automation tools have dramatically simplified routine stocktaking tasks, enabling partners to focus on coffee craft and customer connection. Big data and machine learning algorithms have also been deployed to optimize inventory ordering and labor scheduling. These technologies have been scaled to all stores in operation market-wide, as the company continues to advance its digital transformation agenda.
Shanghai Lippo Plaza Store
The Shanghai Lippo Plaza Store is also the latest of Starbucks growing portfolio of Greener Stores in China. From design to construction and operations, it incorporates sustainability solutions to achieve reductions in carbon, water and waste. Among its features, the store uses smart, energy efficient solutions for air conditioning, lighting, water usage and daily energy consumption. Green aprons donned by store partners are made from recycled Starbucks cups using advanced plastic-to-textile technologies. Customers are invited to join Starbucks on its journey towards reusables by bringing their own cups or choosing a Grande-sized reusable cup when ordering beverages for on-the-go consumption.
Shanghai Coffee in Crema Ristretto style
Alongside the planned opening of the Shanghai Lippo Plaza Store, Starbucks has also specially created a signature handcrafted coffee beverage for coffee lovers in Shanghai – Shanghai Coffee in Crema Ristretto style. As the official coffee industry partner for Shanghai’s city image promotion, and in partnership with IP SHANGHAI, Starbucks is launching the beverage on September 28 across all Starbucks stores in the city.
Shanghai Coffee in Crema Ristretto style is inspired by nostalgic Shanghainese childhood flavors given a distinctive Starbucks spin. It is a delicious creation made with malt, cream and smoky Starbucks ristretto espresso, infused with butter scotch flavored syrup offering layers of flavors and aromas. The first sip offers the comforting taste of Shanghai’s very own beloved malt powder, followed by the smooth taste of cold foam infused with the sweet, delicate flavor of butterscotch – a western-style candy loved by Shanghainese. Finally, coffee lovers may immerse in the bright acidity and caramelly depth of the ristretto espresso, to enjoy the artful intertwining of robust coffee flavors with a light and sweet milky aroma.
As Starbucks celebrates its latest milestone, the company is still in the early chapters of its China growth story. In this next era of accelerated growth at Starbucks, the company expects to operate 9,000 stores across 300 cities in China by 2025, opening one new store nearly every nine hours in China for the next three years. It will also accelerate the rollout of Starbucks Greener Stores framework in China with a plan to operate 2,500 Greener Stores by FY2025.