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Starbucks Teams Up With Alibaba on Coffee Delivery, as It Tries to Keep Its Throne in China

来源:纽约时报    2018-08-03 06:06

        SHANGHAI — For years, Starbucks was the undisputed king of coffee in China.        上海——多年来,星巴克在中国一直是无可争议的咖啡之王。
        It single-handedly created a market of coffee drinkers in a nation of tea lovers, cashing in on a wave of affluent Chinese who looked to Starbucks as an aspirational brand. The country quickly became the coffee chain’s second-largest market after the United States.
        But Starbucks’s dominance in China is increasingly under attack, as growth begins to slow and competitors aggressively target coffee drinkers. Starbucks executives have come under scrutiny for being slow to adapt to technological shifts and retail trends in the country, namely delivery.        但是,随着中国经济增长开始放缓,乃至竞争对手竭力瞄准咖啡饮用者,星巴克在中国的主导地位日益受到冲击。星巴克的高管们因为对中国的技术变化和零售趋势——也就是送货上门——的适应过于缓慢而受到审视。
        On Thursday, in a bid to revitalize its China operation, the company announced what it called a strategic “new retail” partnership with the Chinese tech giant Alibaba.        周四,为振兴中国业务,该公司宣布与中国科技巨头阿里巴巴建立所谓的“新零售”战略合作关系。
        The partnership will allow Starbucks to pilot delivery services next month with an Alibaba subsidiary, Ele.me, and establish what it called delivery kitchens in Alibaba’s Hema supermarkets.        这一合作伙伴关系将令星巴克从下个月开始与阿里巴巴的子公司饿了么合作,试行外送服务,并在阿里巴巴的盒马鲜生建立“外送星厨”。
        Starbucks will also integrate across Alibaba’s platforms to create a virtual Starbucks store so Chinese customers can have more personalized experiences, the two companies said.        两家公司表示,星巴克还将整合阿里巴巴的各种平台,创建一个虚拟的星巴克店,让中国消费者可以获得更多的个性化体验。
        “This is rocket fuel for our digital flywheel strategy in China,” Kevin Johnson, the chief executive of Starbucks, said Thursday at a news briefing in Shanghai.        “这是我们在中国的数字飞轮战略的火箭燃料,”星巴克首席执行官凯文·约翰逊(Kevin Johnson)于周四在上海举行的新闻发布会上表示。
        China is one of Starbucks’s most important markets, especially as the company’s domestic one cools. It has raised prices to offset decreasing foot traffic into United States stores. And last week, Starbucks lowered its growth projections for the year.        中国是星巴克最重要的市场之一,尤其是当该公司的国内市场降温之际。它提高了价格,以抵消美国店内客流量减少。上周,星巴克降低了今年的增长预测。
        But the company has also recently seen sales in China drop. Same-store sales in the most recent quarter fell by 2 percent, after increases in the previous two quarters.        但该公司最近也发现中国的销售额出现下降。在前两个季度的增长之后,最近一个季度的同店销售额下降了2%。
        For Starbucks, analysts say the “new retail” is partly an attempt to fend off competition from Luckin Coffee, a Chinese start-up. The company, which was started in Beijing in January with two stores, has since opened more than 800 branches in 13 cities around the country. Its co-founder Guo Jinyi has been vocal about the company’s ambitions to surpass Starbucks.        分析师表示,对于星巴克而言,“新零售”部分是为了抵御来自中国初创公司瑞幸咖啡(Luckin Coffee)的竞争。该公司于1月份在北京开设了两家门店,此后在全国13个城市开设了800多家分店。它的联合创始人郭谨一曾经直言不讳地声称,该公司有超越星巴克的雄心壮志。
        Starbucks has long been criticized as slow to adapt to digital trends in China; it came to mobile payments later than other brands and is starting delivery only now. “At Starbucks, we feel that we need to earn our right to do delivery right,” said Belinda Wong, the chief executive of Starbucks’s China operation.        长期以来,星巴克一直被批评对中国的数字化趋势适应缓慢;它比其他品牌更晚使用移动支付,而且直到现在才开始外送。“但星巴克希望能把这项服务做到最好,”星巴克中国首席执行官王静瑛表示。
        Perhaps no phenomenon has created as much buzz for transforming the consumer experience in China than “new retail.” From Alibaba to JD.com, e-commerce companies are encouraging consumers to merge their offline and online shopping experiences by visiting brick-and-mortar stores but placing their orders online and finding out more information about their products through their smartphones.        也许在中国,“新零售”比任何现象都更能在改变消费者体验方面引发轰动。从阿里巴巴到京东,电子商务公司正在鼓励消费者参观实体店,但在网上下单,并通过智能手机查找有关其产品的更多信息,从而将他们的线下和线上购物体验结合起来。
        Jeffrey Towson, a private-equity investor and a professor of investment at Peking University who has been vocal about Starbucks’s failure to be nimble in adopting digital strategies, said Thursday’s announcement could help Starbucks move beyond its traditional reliance on brick-and-mortar transactions.        私募股权投资者与北京大学的投资教授陶迅(Jeffrey Towson)一直称星巴克未能灵活采用数字战略,他表示,周四宣布的消息可能有助于星巴克超越其对实体店交易的传统依赖。
        He added, “This is really bad news for Luckin Coffee.”        他还说,“这对瑞幸咖啡来说真是个坏消息。”
        Luckin is positioning itself as a mass-market alternative to Starbucks so it can win over customers willing to pay $3.50 for a latte — 20 percent below what Starbucks charges. It offers customers discounts if they order more and is giving them half off food orders for the next five months. Customers can also choose whether they want to pick up their coffees at a store or have them delivered in 30 minutes.        瑞幸将自己定位为星巴克的大众市场替代品,因此可以赢得愿为一杯拿铁咖啡支付3.50美元(约合24元)的消费者——比星巴克的价格低20%。它还会为订购更多的消费者提供折扣,并在接下来的五个月内为他们提供半价的食品订单。消费者还可以选择是否在店内自提咖啡或在30分钟内外送。
        It is still too soon to say whether Luckin will succeed in a country rife with start-ups that burn through cash and go bankrupt overnight. And it can be hard to compete in the long run against the scale of a brand like Starbucks.        在一个充斥着大量资金耗尽、一夜破产的初创企业的国家,现在谈论瑞幸是否会成功还为时尚早。从长远来看,与星巴克这样规模的品牌竞争可能很难。
        Mr. Guo, Luckin’s co-founder, pointed out that Starbucks is not dominant in countries like Canada, where there is Tim Hortons, and Britain, which is dominated by Costa Coffee.        瑞幸的联合创始人郭谨一指出,星巴克在加拿大这样的国家并不占支配地位,那里有蒂姆·霍顿斯(Tim Hortons)和英国咖啡(Britain),后者由咖世家(Costa Coffee)所有。
        “Each place has its own local brand, and these local brands are now the leaders,” Mr. Guo said. “I believe that in China, anything can happen in a place that is so conducive for innovation and entrepreneurship.”        “每个地方都有自己的本土品牌,而且本土品牌都做到了第一,”郭谨一说。“而我相信在中国这样什么事情都可能发生的地方,一个创新创业的很好的地方,什么都可能发生。”
        In May, Luckin sued Starbucks, arguing that the American chain had signed exclusive contracts with commercial property owners that barred other coffee shops from entering the space if a Starbucks was already there.        今年5月,瑞幸起诉星巴克,称这家美国连锁企业同多家商业地产所有者签订了独家合同,如果星巴克已经在那里开设门店,就禁止其他咖啡店进入该地区。
        It’s not going to be easy to oust Starbucks, which has 3,400 stores in more than 140 cities in China and plans to nearly double that by 2022.        要打败星巴克并不容易,星巴克在中国140多个城市拥有3400家门店,并计划在2022年前将这一数字翻番。
        Ben Cavender, senior analyst of China Market Research, a consultancy based in Shanghai, estimates that Starbucks has a 70 percent share of the market, blazing past coffee chains like McDonald’s McCafe and Costa Coffee. But the company must prove it can stay on the cutting edge.        据总部位于上海的咨询公司中国市场研究(China Market Research)的资深分析师本·卡文德(Ben Cavender)估计,星巴克占有70%的市场份额,远远超过麦当劳的麦咖啡(McCafe)和咖世家等咖啡连锁店。但该公司必须证明它能够保持领先地位。
        “The challenge is that consumers are much pickier about the experience they get now; they have other good options that have standardized quality and potentially a more interesting environment,” Mr. Cavender said. “So Starbucks has to do a better job. It’s not a clear win anymore.”        “挑战在于,如今的消费者对他们所获得的体验更加挑剔;他们有其他很好的选择,它们都具有标准化的质量,还有可能拥有更有趣的环境,”卡文德说。“所以星巴克必须做得更好。现在已经不是可以轻松取胜的时候了。”
        Mr. Johnson said that Starbucks began discussing teaming up with Alibaba about a year ago.        约翰逊说,大约一年前,星巴克开始讨论与阿里巴巴合作。
        When asked about the competition posed by Luckin, Mr. Johnson said, “I think certainly as people look at the market opportunity in China as it relates to coffee, we expect there will continue to be more competition.”        当被问及瑞幸构成的竞争时,约翰逊说:“我确实认为,当人们开始关注中国与咖啡相关的市场机会时,我们预计还将继续出现更多的竞争。”
        What Starbucks has going for it is a large following, especially in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. On Tuesday, as the summer sun bore down on the trendy Sanlitun neighborhood of Beijing, customers lined up for coffees. Wang Qi, 25, who works in media, said she preferred Starbucks to Luckin because of the environment.        星巴克追求的是大批拥趸,特别是在北京和上海等大城市。周二,当夏日的阳光照射在北京时尚的三里屯社区时,买咖啡的顾客排起了长队。25岁的王琦在媒体工作,她表示,由于环境因素,她喜欢星巴克胜于瑞幸。
        “You can sit down and have a proper cup of coffee,” Ms. Wang said.        “可以好好坐着喝,”王琦说。
        Zhao Ting, who is also 25 and works in media, said, “Everyone trusts this brand.”        同样是25岁、在媒体工作的赵婷说:“大家都信任这个品牌。”
        But not everyone has remained loyal. Wang Shanshan, a 35-year-old who drinks coffee once or twice a week, said she had switched to Luckin because she thought its coffee tasted better than Starbucks’. Plus, there are the discounts.        但不是每个人都保持着忠诚。35岁的王珊珊每周喝一两次咖啡,她说她已经转投瑞幸,因为她觉得那里的咖啡味道比星巴克好。另外,还有折扣。
        “They are giving one free if you buy two, five free if you buy five,” Ms. Wang said. “I think it’s pretty good.”        “他们会买二赠一,买五赠五。蛮好的,”王珊珊说。

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