Asia: World’s biggest Starbucks to open in China

Starbucks is opening the world’s largest outlet in Shanghai in a move to target Shanghai’s affluent, with the company expecting that China will overtake the US as its largest market within a decade. With younger Chinese consumers looking for things that are more unique and quality driven, Starbucks is betting that this trend will be transferable to upscale coffee and will help to drive growth in this market.

The store will be spread over 30,000 square feet, which is about the size of half a soccer field.

The company also plans to roll out mobile order and deliver, a move that could see Starbucks go up against Alibaba’s Alipay mobile payment service, with consumers in China already able to use Alipay for purchases at Starbucks.

According to RFi Group data, mobile wallet/digital payments emerged as the top non-cash payment method used in China in H2 2017 with 88% of the urban banked population indicating that they have used this payment method. Currently, mobile wallet usage is higher among affluent consumers and younger consumers.

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