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August 13, 2020

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Alibaba’s Freshippo also jumps on the bandwagon

A smaller spinoff of Alibaba’s flagship online retail grocery Freshippo is targeting breakfast and takeaway food for office workers and commuters in Shanghai.

The first batch of six Pick’n Go stores opened today for pick-up service only. The stores are located in Huangpu, Xuhui, Minhang, Putuo and Changning districts.

Freshippo will expedite the expansion of Pick’n Go stores and aims to add some 60 new stores in central business districts and locations near Metro stations by the end of this year and eventually reach 1,000 stores in three years.

Consumers can place breakfast orders via mobile apps and then pick up their food within 10 to 15 minutes from designated delivery lockers.

Shanghai office worker Crystal Cheng who has been ordering food and grocery delivery from Freshippo decided to try steamed buns and soy milk for breakfast yesterday. “I don’t have to wait for food to be prepared at quick service chain restaurants or convenience stores,” she said.

At the Pick’n Go store at Xuhui Guangqi City, a total of 24 delivery lockers are available for customers to pick up breakfast after ordering from their smartphones.

After a one-year trial operation in Yangpu District, the company decided to operate smaller formats with limited product selection, according to Hou Yi, chairman of Freshippo and head of Alibaba’s digital food unit.

“With only 30 to 40 square meters of space and no dine-in area we can achieve higher efficiency compared with other kinds of grocery or convenience stores,” Hou added.

Dozens of products such as Shanghai-style dim sum and soybean drinks are currently available during breakfast hours with prices starting from 5 yuan (72 US cents).

Sandwiches and other lunch and snack items are also available for ordering.


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