Starbucks preparing for Shanghai revival as Covid restrictions set to ease

The imminent reopening of coffee shops in China’s ‘coffee capital’ signals Shanghai’s gradual road to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, with Starbucks hoping to capitalise on the easing of restrictions by resuming in-store activity

Shanghai, with a population of more than 25 million, is home to a reported 7,000 coffee shops | Photo credit: Lingchor

Starbucks has accelerated the resumption of in-store trade at Shanghai stores temporarily shuttered due to the latest Covid trading restrictions.

The coffee chain is reopening stores in 15 districts in Shanghai in accordance with local epidemic prevention and control protocols. The Seattle-based coffee chain has already been offering take-out and delivery services at 55 stores in Shanghai since previous restrictions were eased on 27 May.

Authorities in Shanghai have confirmed that several Covid-19 lockdown measures imposed on businesses will be lifted, with companies no longer needing to be on a ‘whitelist’, to resume operations from 1 June. Previously, companies on these lists were given special passes allowing them to undertake transportation of goods in addition to resuming production.

China's financial hub has been hit hard by the restrictions, with the commercial centre having been under a strict lockdown for almost two months.

Shanghai, with a population of more than 25 million, is home to a reported 7,000 coffee shops, nearly 600 of which are Starbucks stores.

Financial results for the coffee chain’s second quarter saw global comparable store sales increase by seven percent but decrease by 23% in China, Starbucks’ largest market outside the US, highlighting the impact that lockdown restrictions in China have had on the coffee chain.

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