| China

Starbucks to open innovation hub in Shenzhen, China

Set to open in September 2023, the Innovation and Tech Center (SITC) will support digital innovation across customer engagement and supply chain management

Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan during a recent visit to China | Photo credit: Starbucks


Starbucks will open an Innovation and Tech Center (SITC) in Shenzhen in September 2023 to accelerate the digitisation of its retail operations and omni-channel busines in China. 

The US coffee chain, which operates 6,500 stores across China, is ‘revamping’ its approach to digital innovation with an initial RMB1.5bn ($207m) investment in the site. 

Starbucks said the centre will drive the simplification and automation of store operations, facilitate further supply chain digitisation and improve personalised customer engagement. 

Updated data infrastructure will ‘unleash’ Starbucks’ growth in China as it seeks to reach 9,000 stores by 2025, the Seattle-based coffee chain said in a press release. 

“Shenzhen is a hotbed of digital innovation in China and an early demonstration area for the development of the Greater Bay Area. We are excited to work with like-minded local tech talent and entrepreneurs to unlock the infinite possibilities of human connection through technology,” said Belinda Wong, CEO of Starbucks China. 

China is Starbucks’ second largest market by outlets, behind the US where it operates more than 16,100 stores.  

The coffee giant, which entered the Chinese market in 1999 with a store in Beijing, opened 237 net new stores in China during the second quarter, with comparable store sales in the country increasing 46% year-on-year. 

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