Starbucks Debuts Express Format in China

Starbucks Now takes center stage in Beijing, while U.S. stores will ditch newspapers.

July 17, 2019

BEIJING—Starbucks unveiled its express model in China this week, Chain Store Age reports. The Starbucks Now design streamlines the customer experience for online orders and for delivery companies picking up to-go orders.

“The Starbucks Now store is a testament to our unwavering commitment to delivering innovative customer experiences through new retail formats,” said Leo Tsoi, COO and president of Starbucks China Retail. “This new retail format and design approach provides us with a platform to offer customers a fast and convenient retail experience to suit their on-the-go lifestyle.”

Upon entering, an employee greets customers from an elevated counter to help with pickup or ordering. A truncated menu showcases to-go options, and the store has limited seating for customers.

Starbucks Now also has a special area for Starbucks Delivers orders to facilitate fast in-and-out for delivery drivers. A secure in-wall system shields ready online orders and allows for customers to quickly find their orders.

The new location can also become a centralized center for dispatching delivery orders within a particular area to allow employees at nearby stores to handle in-store orders only. Starbucks announced it will open more Now locations in high volume areas within Beijing and other Chinese cities.

In other Starbucks news, the chain announced recently it would halt the sale of newspapers in its cafes starting in September, CNBC reports. The chain will also remove the shelving that houses whole bean coffee and grab-and-go snacks, although those items will still be available in stores.

“We are always looking at what we offer our customers in our stores and making adjustments to our portfolio based on changing customer behavior,” said Sanja Gould, Starbucks spokeswoman.