Adapting to Chinese consumer trends, Starbucks opens first takeaway-based store in Beijing

The American coffee chain is catching up on services that have become commonplace with younger rivals like Luckin

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Adapting to Chinese consumer trends, Starbucks opens first takeaway-based store in Beijing

Better known for its comfortable coffeeshops that invite customers to dwell, Starbucks opened a new “fast coffee” concept shop in Beijing today.

The store has only a few seats as it rather encourages customers to pre-order via a mobile app and come to the store just for the pick up. The new model will also benefit the coffee shop’s delivery service.

The Seattle-based company has been in China for twenty years and has gradually adapted to the demands of the Chinese market. It has also been challenged in the country by startups such as Luckin who entered the market with its novel, digitally-empowered coffee chain concept.

Last year Starbucks partnered with Alibaba’s food delivery service Ele.me to respond to the on-demand delivery trend among Chinese consumers.

In May this year, Starbucks launched its Mobile Order & Pay Service,  allowing customers to place an order online and pick up their beverage or food at a store without the wait.

The „express“ model store is not an entirely new concept for Starbucks. It already has a takeaway store on Wall Street in New York’s Financial District. Beijing’s store is similarly located in the city’s financial district. The goal is to help busy people to get their caffeine more efficiently.

Starbucks has more than 3,500 stores across China and has enabled mobile orders in 1,300 stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Nanjing. It’s planning to expand its new express store model across the country.