| China

Starbucks broadens digital services in China with Meituan partnership

The new collaboration will see the Seattle-based coffee chain expand its delivery reach, launch an in-store experience programme and enable Chinese consumers to explore individual coffee shops via Meituan’s ‘Super Store’ platform

Each of Starbucks' 5,300+ stores in China will be available on Meituan's 'Super Store' feature by the end of 2022 | Photo credit: Starbucks Asia

Starbucks has partnered with app-based delivery platform Meituan to launch a range of new digital services in China. 
The new partnership will enable customers to access the Starbucks Delivers platform via the Meituan platform, with new features enabling greater beverage customisation and the delivery debut of the premium Starbucks Reserve brand in China.
The US coffee chain has also launched the ‘1971 Salon’, a service exclusive to the Meituan platform that will enable customers to book private coffee experiences, including tastings and workshops, at around 60 participating stores in in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu.
Additionally, Starbucks customers can now use Meituan’s ‘Super Store’ feature to browse individual store events, offers and community boards, a function the coffee chain says will available at each of Starbucks’ 5,300+ stores in China by the end of 2022.
Starbucks first launched its Chinese delivery service in partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group in 2018 as part of an exclusive three-year deal. The Seattle-based coffee chain will reportedly continue using Alibaba’s Ele.me business for delivery in tandem with its new partner.
Starbucks is not Meituan’s first branded coffee chain customer in China. In late-2018 the company partnered with Starbucks rival Luckin Coffee, becoming the latter’s sole third-party platform for take-away orders at the time.
World Coffee Portal data shows 86% of Chinese consumers surveyed in 2020 indicated they had previously ordered takeaway coffee for delivery, with more than half doing so 2-3 times a week.  
China is Starbucks’ second largest market globally after the US. Sixty-two percent of the coffee chain’s stores are now located in the US and China, with the company operating 15,450 and 5,360 stores in each market respectively, according to its latest earnings report.

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