Taiwan-based bubble tea company Gong Cha is about to open the first in a new line of locally-designed cafes that aim to lure shoppers in with a fit-out that’s catering specifically for social media addicts.
Gong Cha Takapuna will open on Hurstmere Rd at the end of this month. Inside, customers will be able to pose on a swing in a faux grass area in front of a graphic showing one of Gong Cha’s tea fields, creating an illusion that they’re really in the field.
“Creating a unique area within the store like this, with the company’s own particular brand logo, is a great way of allowing customers to enjoy their visit, while also providing something different and eye-catching that makes a great photo, as well as telling the company’s story,” says Sam Elliot, lead designer on the Gong Cha project for designer Spaceworks.
Apparently such selfie sets are common throughout Asia, where Gong Cha is very active.
Since launching just over a decade ago, Gong Cha has opened 1500 stores, including more than 600 outlets in USA, South East Asia and Australia, says Marcus Teh, New Zealand manager for Gong Cha.
“Bubble tea has been well received in the New Zealand market and is growing at around 20 percent per year here,” he says.
The new Takapuna store is the first of five additional Gong Cha stores scheduled to open in New Zealand in 2018, more than doubling the chain’s existing four-outlet footprint in Auckland.
In New Zealand Gong Cha is owned by the ST Group. The company also manages other retail brands such as Papparich and Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tarts turning over $8 million in sales and employing over 60 staff.