Starbucks Korea opened its largest store yet in Seoul’s Jongno district today, in a move to solidify the brand’s already strong presence in an increasingly competitive market.
The coffee shop, at Jongno Tower, covers 1097sqm on the first and second floors of the building – making it four times bigger than the chain’s typical 264sqm store size.
The latest move by the US coffeehouse chain comes on the heels of low-cost coffeehouse Ediya Coffee’s decision to open a flagship store of a similar size last year in Gangnam District.
A wide range of menu items and premium services to differentiate from other locations will be on offer, such as herbal teas ‘Teavana Blueberry Bliss’ and ‘Teavana Citrus Lavender Sage’, which will be available at four of the Teavana-inspired stores across the country including the Jongno location.
Some 100 beverages and 60 bakery products will be available at the new location, 30 per cent more than the average number of items available at other stores.
Siphon coffee makers will be used to brew some of the drinks at the new coffee shop, while an exclusive trial program available at the store’s community room will introduce some completely new offerings such as Origin Flight and Brew Comparison.
In addition, seven types of rice products made in South Korea using Starbucks coffee grounds as a fertiliser will also be on sale, including beans & sweet potato rice chips.
A large-scale artwork installed on one side of the store uses traditional Korean fabric to recreate the coffee chain’s signature Siren logo with a Korean touch, a fitting addition for Jongno District, a neighborhood boasting traditional venues such as Gyeongbokgung Palace and Insadong.
Starbucks currently operates about 1100 stores across South Korea.
Earlier this month, the American coffeehouse opened its largest store in the world in Shanghai, China.
- Original reporting by Hyunsu Yim of Korea Bizwire.