Starbucks is about to open its biggest Roastery in the world in Tokyo. The 32,000-square-foot store overtakes the one in Shanghai as the biggest Starbucks on the planet. The company has just three others, in Seattle, Milan and New York City. After Tokyo, Starbucks plans to open one more Roastery, in Chicago. “They are a way to celebrate the romance of coffee,” CEO Kevin Johnson said to CNN.
Roasteries are designed to solve a problem all retailers face: How to make the in-store experience unique and exciting enough to lure in customers. Starbucks is also using the Roasteries to test out design concepts and menu items — and to double down on its promise of offering a “third place” between home and work, even as it focuses on speed and convenience elsewhere. “The Roasteries are brand amplifiers for us,” Johnson added. “That is their primary objective.”
In Tokyo, customers who visit the Roastery will be able to order elaborate drinks like black tea lattes garnished with turmeric cotton candy and jasmine teas topped with popsicles. They’ll be able to gaze at cherry blossoms through glass walls, and sip beverages on an outdoor terrace.