New Starbucks’ Willy Wonka-Inspired Tokyo Branch May Show the Brand’s Eventual Future

New Starbucks’ Willy Wonka-Inspired Tokyo Branch May Show the Brand’s Eventual Future

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Image Source | Flickr.com

Starbucks is opening another Willy Wonka-inspired Roastery and this one is located in, of all places, Tokyo, Japan. This will be the coffee giant’s fourth Roastery, though the Tokyo branch won’t open until 2018. Starbuck’s first Roastery opened in Seattle in 2014. Its great success prompted the coffee magnate to announce plans to open two more Roastery branches in New York City in 2017 and, yes again of all places, Shanghai, China in 2017. Most likely the Tokyo Roastery will open right after the Shanghai branch. This is Starbuck’s staggering reply to the dwindling businesses of traditional brick and mortar retailing – even coffee shops – due to the continued rise of mobile shopping and e-commerce. It was also high time that Starbucks became more immersive and dynamic with its store experiences. Call it a store upgrade if you must. For Starbucks, Roasteries are the major changes and leveling up in creating this immersive experience.

starbucks-300x200 New Starbucks’ Willy Wonka-Inspired Tokyo Branch May Show the Brand’s Eventual Future
Image Source | Flickr.com

Based on the first Seattle Starbucks Roastery, it offers a basic blueprint for future Roasteries, as well as a window into the future of Starbucks more broadly. The 15,000-square-foot Seattle location combines coffee production, menu testing, and architectural whimsy, serving up drinks like a $10 Nitro Cold Brew Float made with coffee roasted on location. The Seattle Roastery also serves up the usual Starbucks menu lineup that people are used to, just in case you’re scared you won’t find your usual latte. You can spice up your order by actually watching how it’s made. The planned Tokyo Roastery, which will be located in the upscale Nakameguro district, will be 13,000 square feet. The space will be designed by Kengo Kuma, an architect who has previously collaborated with Starbucks to create one of its most creative and striking locations to date. Like all future Roastery locations, the Tokyo Roastery will have a fully-integrated bakery operation. This is because of its established partnership with Italian artisanal bakery Pinci.

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As more Roasteries open, each will have distinct aspects that set it apart. Of course, every Roastery that Starbucks opens will have all the elements and the foundation of the Seattle Roastery, with locally relevant products and retail theater. The Tokyo and Shanghai Roasteries represents a major trend happening not just at Starbucks but also with other businesses around the world, and this is the upscale growth in Asia. While it is notable that half of its currently planned Roasteries will be located in Asia, the move is unsurprising looking at the chain’s growth in Asia, especially in China. Today, Starbucks has more than 6,200 locations in the Asia-Pacific region. That includes 2,300 locations in China alone, a big rise from its 400 stores in 2011. The company plans to reach 5,000 stores in China. That’s roughly around opening a new store roughly each day up to 2021. This could mean that over time, China will be larger than the US and larger than any market that Starbucks has in the world.

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