Starbucks opens first express store aimed at delivery, pickup orders in China

Starbucks on Friday opened its first express retail store in China aimed to transform pickup and delivery for its customers.

The coffee chain’s first-ever Starbucks Now store opened in Beijing’s financial district and featured a minimalist design and limited seating — much different from its typical stores. One or two baristas will be at the express location to help with walk-in orders as well as those made on its app and website.

One of the store’s main feature is an in-wall system where delivery riders are directed to a designated pickup portal for the order they are delivering.

Starbucks on Friday opened its first express retail store in China. (Starbucks)

“The Starbucks Now store is a testament to our unwavering commitment to delivering innovative customer experiences through new retail formats,” Starbucks China Retail’s COO and president Leo Tsoi said in a statement. “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.”

The express store will also fulfill orders that nearby Starbucks locations would generally take on, giving baristas at these cafes more time to focus on in-store orders. Baristas at a central kitchen will handle orders during peak times.

“Combining the signature Starbucks café environment with Mobile Order & Pay and Starbucks Delivers customer experiences, this streamlined experience allows customers and delivery riders to conveniently get their favorite beverages and food at Starbucks,” the company said in a statement.

Starbucks has been expanding its delivery program in China amid competition from other chains such as Luckin Coffee. Starbucks said it plans to open more Starbucks Now stores in “high-traffic areas” in the country.


It’s unclear if there are plans to open a similar store in the U.S.