While Starbucks may no longer hold the monopoly it once did over the American coffee market, the global cafe chain is doing remarkably well in China, where it first set up shop in 1999.
He also said that China was becoming the most important market for Starbucks.
The Seattle-based coffee company opened a 30,000-square-foot store in Shanghai on Tuesday.
"The affinity we have built with our partners and customers over the past 18 years in China is special and we knew we must bring the Reserve Roastery, our boldest, most premium store ever, to Shanghai", said founder and chairman, Howard Schultz.
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"One, you must be focused on experiential retail that creates an experience in your store that becomes a destination for the customer", Johnson explained when asked about what physical retailers must consider in 2017.
Starbucks debuted its upscale Roastery format three years ago, in its Seattle hometown.
It would be all too easy to dismiss China's new Starbucks Roastery as a novel publicity stunt.
In addition, customers can point their mobile devices at various points around the store to get a virtual tour showing them how their coffee went from bean to cup. Shanghai location is Starbucks' biggest store to date, and also its most advanced digitally. At more than twice the size of the original Reserve facility, the Shanghai roastery will be followed by additional Starbucks Reserve roasteries in New York, Chicago, Tokyo and Milan. Three wooden coffee bars stretching up to 27 meters (88 feet) long and handcrafted by Chinese artisans will serve as the stage for hundreds of baristas and six brewing methods: ModBar Pour Over, Chemex, Coffee Press, Siphon, Espresso and the proprietary Clover-brewed coffee.
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It will also host the Teavana Bar - its first outlet in China which specifically offers a range of Chinese teas. Same-store sales gained 8 percent in the country during the most recent quarter, compared with 2 percent globally.
But despite all of Shanghai Roastery's features, it's still a coffee shop at heart.
Starbucks opened its first store in China in 1999 in Beijing.
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