Perk up, Shanghai: Crowds throng world’s biggest Starbucks

Perk up, Shanghai: Crowds throng world’s biggest Starbucks
Above, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery outlet, the coffee chain’s largest cafe in the world, in Shanghai. Starbucks already has more than 3,000 of its standard cafes in 136 Chinese cities, including more than 600 in Shanghai alone, the largest number of stores in any city in the world. (AFP)
Updated 06 December 2017

Perk up, Shanghai: Crowds throng world’s biggest Starbucks

Perk up, Shanghai: Crowds throng world’s biggest Starbucks

SHANGHAI: Starbucks opened its largest cafe in the world in Shanghai on Wednesday as the US-based beverage giant bets big on the burgeoning coffee culture of a country traditionally known for tea-drinking.
The opening of the sprawling, two-story outlet in a busy central shopping district was thronged by hundreds of customers, some waiting more than an hour in long lines stretching outside for a block in scenes reminiscent of a hyped-up new iPhone release.
The cafe spans 2,700 square meters — nearly half the area of a soccer field — and is the company’s second Starbucks Reserve Roastery, a larger type of store featuring premium coffees, teas, and coffee-infused beer along with a personalized barista service.
The first roastery outlet opened in Starbucks’ hometown of Seattle in 2014.
Starbucks already has more than 3,000 of its standard cafes in 136 Chinese cities, including more than 600 in Shanghai alone, the largest number of stores in any city in the world.
A new Starbucks opens every 15 hours in China, the company says.
Chairman Howard Schultz told Bloomberg News on Tuesday ahead of the store’s opening that China was on course to become the company’s largest market in less than a decade.
“It’s obvious to us that the holding power of China for Starbucks is going to be much more significant than the holding power of the US,” he said.
The store has a “Willy Wonka” feel, with a giant two-story cask holding tons of freshly roasted beans that are sent out to the cafe’s various bars via tubing that snakes along the ceiling, while packaged beans wander around on conveyor belts.
Zhao Fei, a paper trader, said drink prices running up to 78 yuan (SR44.23) for some coffees would scare off many Chinese customers.
“But many people in China are really starting to appreciate expensive coffees, especially young people in big cities,” said Zhao, who nonetheless opted for a nitrogen-infused fruit tea.
“And it looks so wonderful here, many people will come just to look.”


TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps

TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps
Updated 18 January 2021

TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps

TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps
  • Facebook-owned WhatsApp badly hit by a backlash after updating its privacy policy

DUBAI: Signal is more comfortable instant messaging service to use compared with other apps such as WhatsApp or Telegram, according to half of those who responded to an Arab News poll.

Signal’s surge in popularity among smartphone users, thanks to a two-word tweet from technology entrepreneur Elon Musk endorsing the encrypted messaging service, clearly showed as 50 percent of the 1,451 respondents expressed contentment with it.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp, badly hit by a backlash after updating its privacy policy, got a thumbs-up from three out of 10 poll respondents while Telegram had about a tenth of supporters. The remaining 10 percent of Arab New readers who responded to the poll meanwhile said none of the three instant messaging apps were comfortable to use.

 

 

Musk earlier urged users to “Use Signal” after WhatsApp, the most popular instant messaging app, was accused of forcing subscribers to share their personal data with its parent company Facebook for advertising.

Users had to accept these new terms before February 8, otherwise their accounts will be deleted. The ensuing furor prompted WhatsApp to delay its take it or leave it privacy update until May.

It likewise came out with a clarification the privacy changes were focused on how businesses used the app.

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way,” WhatsApp said in a statement.

“Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.”