The 6th of December 2017, Starbucks opened his bigger shop around the world in Shanghai. It’s called the ‘Reserve Roastery’ and it’s located on West Nanjing Road (Nanjing Xi Lu) a really famous and touristic street in Shanghai.




Starbucks came in China in 1999 but their success wasn’t sure, due to the huge consumption of tea in China. But since 2012 and thanks to the strong strategy build by Belinda Wong (who’s now the Starbucks Chinese’ CEO), the brand success to establish itself in the landscape of major Chinese cities.

Starbucks China in numbers :

  • Today, there’s 3000 Starbucks in China
  • A new Starbucks open every 15 hours in the country
  • There are 600 Starbucks only in Shanghai
  • Their goal for 2020 is to reach 5000 shops in China



The brand define it as « a coffee theater with a Chinese Spirit ». This is the second Reserve Roastery that Starbucks opens in the world. The first one opened in 2014 in Seattle, but the chinese one is two times bigger ! We are here on a 2 700 square meter’s shop, which is 15 times bigger than a classic Starbucks’s shop (around 200 m2).

This only shop counts 400 employees, and can serves around 500 persons at the same time !

The store concept :

Here, the specific thing is the store concept : we are on a unique retail experience. This is a up market store with a premium quality of products and services. We’ll find an in-house artisanal bakery, a long coffee bar, a Teavana bar, a shop with clothes, goodies, food, italien catering (in collaboration with Prince Bakery), cooking utensils and professional tools for coffee or tea making. The coffee Aficionado will also find rare products, such as « grands crus » unfindable elsewhere, such as Yunnan, a region best known for its teas.



TaoBao & Alibaba :

But this shop is also a showcase for Alibaba’s technology. With the TaoBao app, Starbucks offers us an interactive experience to discover virtually the process of coffee roasting.

Just open your app, and you’ll have access to the drinks & food menu. But you’ll have also access to several augmented reality experiences with your smartphone : just scan the shop to discover the different steps of coffee transformation, the utility of each machine and how coffee tastes evolve during these steps.




When you interact with a machine, you’ll collect a badge. More interactions you’ll have with the shop, and more badges you’ll collect. Each badge represent a special photo filter that you can use to take a selfie, and then share on social medias. It thought to create buzz and it works !

Future plans

If this shop is a success, Starbucks will open 3 other Reserve Roastery in the world : one in New York, one in Tokyo and one in Milan (Italy of course, the country of coffee and espresso).



The thing that really surprise me when I came inside the Reserve Roastery is the smell. Usually, when I go into a Starbucks, I expect to smell the sweet smell of coffee. Here, barely you open the doors, the smell of pizza invades you. The white and green shop lets place to a vast area of wood and gold. No power socket here, no worktables : we are more on a Muji shop style than a traditional Starbucks. Here, we sell coffee, pizzas, coats, cups and backpacks gloriously branded ‘Reserve Roastery Shanghai’. We are swept away in a whirlwind of products, bars, choices, people and yet we are amazed by this abundance and immensity. An experience that I would describe as truly unique. I felt like Denise coming to ‘Au bonheur des Dames’ in the Zola’s novel.




« You guys have transformed China, a country drinking tea, and you make so many people love coffee. I don’t like coffee, but I like Starbucks. »

Jack Ma




Jack Ma at the inauguration of the Reserve Roastery on December 5, 2017


Sources :

Reserve Roastery :

Belinda Wong :

Starbucks in China :

Jack Ma :


To Learn More :

Alibaba :

Taobao :

Princi :