Big Mac Cube: Redefine the role of offline stores

McDonald’s new cube-style headquarter building, located on the west bund of Shanghai, brings food retail innovation and digital designs to the Chinese market.

Photo credit: Eastday

Fabernovel Key Takeaways

Redefine the role of offline stores:

1) MEDIA that is content and social media-heavy.

2) SERVICE that puts an experienced sales force and service at its core.

3) EXPERIENCE that manifests brand value and curates immersive brand experiences – all in one place.

In other words, besides the brand/product service and experiences, offering added value for consumers and creating additional consumption scenarios would be the key to success for offline stores. 

Cultural Integration

Inspired by the classic products of McDonald’s, the LED screen on the first floor showcases 3D animations of the products.

Photo credit: Shanghai Observer

Besides the vivid visual presentation, the three design elements of the cube, warm color and hidden smile are everywhere in the store. These designs help to convey distinct brand images and build an emotional connection with consumers.

Photo credit: Shanghai Observer

Cross-over Attempts & Pop up Activities

On the 1st floor, we can see its cross-over attempts with the CITIC Press Group (a bookstore chain brand). Unlike most McDonald’s stores setting entertainment facilities on the 2nd floor, this flagship store has, for the first time, laid out reading areas and mini-theater together with a McCafé on the 1st floor. 

Besides, many pop up activities are organized here to encourage children to share what they read, such as the child who reads an article out loud at the stage can be awarded a pair of McDonald chicken wings.

In this way, there’s no doubt that families with children will stay there for more time. More consumption will be generated and brand awareness will be increased thereby.

O2O Model & Private Traffic

There is no manual ordering service in this flagship restaurant, instead, McDonald’s fully relies on the online order system. Customers can make an order via McDonald’s WeChat mini-program or the Order Machine in store.

In addition, it encourages customers to join the WeChat group by distributing e-coupons online. After that, the staff will share the latest news and collect feedback from customers. In this way, McDonald’s could build their own private traffic and convey the brand image to consumers directly.

In summary, offline stores include pop-up events, digital services and concepts, coupled with private traffic could reach out to more consumers as well as increase sales volume. Thus, in order to gain more coverage from the new market in the future, the brands can make more digital or cultural experiences in their offline store.


1. “????????????????????????“3D????“, ????, 8 November 2021

2. “McDonald’s new headquarters settles in West Bund“, Eastday, 8 November 2021

3. “?????????????????????????“, Shanghai Xuhui WeChat Official Account, 8 November 2021

4. “?????????????????????+??+??????????????????“, Shanghai Observer, 8 November 2021


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