Starbucks takes after Luckin, launching in-store pick ups in China

Starbucks just took a bite out of Luckin Coffee’s playbook

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Starbucks China has launched the “Starbucks Now” mobile order and pick-up feature in Beijing and Shanghai, as announced in a press release via Chinese news outlet Jiemian.

Customers can now use the Starbucks App or other designated channels to buy products and pick up them up from certain Starbucks stores.

The service is available immediately for Starbucks outlets in Beijing and Shanghai shopping malls, with plans to cover 300 stores by June and then gradually expand to the whole country.

This mobile order and in-store pick-up feature will help Starbucks compete closer on services with trailblazing coffee chain Luckin Coffee, whose business is focused on mobile ordering, pickup, and delivery features.

In line with this, many of Luckin’s shops are small and sometimes without seating, whereas Starbucks locations tend to be roomy “third spaces” where customers can lounge for a while.

Starbucks had 3,700 stores in over 158 Chinese cities in February and plans to reach 6,000 locations by 2022.

Luckin, which only launched in the second half of 2017, had opened 2,300 stores by March and aims to reach 4,500 locations by the end of the year.

The company raised USD 586.5 million in a successful US IPO last week and has made no secret of its ambition to top Starbucks as the biggest coffee chain in China.