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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Business -> 
Starbucks blames third-party delivery for slower growth
    2018-06-25  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

STARBUCKS Corp. has reported a sudden slowdown in China growth just weeks after trumpeting rapid expansion in the country, citing a drop-off in unapproved third-party delivery services whose bulk orders had been clogging up its cafes.

The U.S. cafe chain said same-store sales would be flat to slightly negative in its second-biggest market in the April-June period, versus 7-percent growth a year earlier.

China has been a sweet spot for Starbucks for the past few years, as the country embraces cafes and opens up to drinking coffee over tea while growth saturates back home. Last month, the firm said it aimed to triple China revenue and double cafe numbers to 6,000 by 2022.

But the company said new cafe openings were cannibalizing customer visits at other stores, as also happened in the United States. However, Starbucks particularly noted a decline in third-party firms — with whom it had no formal arrangements — that placed large orders for delivery to their own customers, often resulting in long in-store queues.

“I think it was driven by the government policy that wants to stop having third parties do that because it was creating annoyances,” CEO Kevin Johnson said on a call with analysts. He said the remedy was to seal a delivery partnership with a “large tech company” by the end of the year.

Third-party “daigou” shopping agents in China offer services via delivery platforms such as Ele.me, backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., and Meituan-Dianping, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. Restaurants and cafes can also have official accounts on such platforms, though Starbucks does not.

Mizuho Securities analyst Jeremy Scott said Starbucks would have been happy for the no-cost custom generated by third-party delivery services, but an official arrangement will likely push up costs.(SD-Agencies)

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