Retail

Starbucks Upgrades Rewards Program; Opens Store No. 30,000

Starbucks Upgrades Rewards Program

Ahead of plans to open hundreds of locations annually in China, Starbucks hit a retail milestone by opening its 30,000th location in the world in Shenzhen. The coffee chain opened its first store in Seattle in the 1970s and has operations in 78 markets globally, Chain Store Age reported.

Starbucks Coffee Company President and CEO Kevin Johnson said, according to the outlet, “The opening of Starbucks 30,000th store is a proud moment for all Starbucks partners. Over the past 48 years, we have worked to build a different kind of company based on a mission grounded in the human experience, the world’s finest coffees and a constant pursuit of doing good.”

The move comes as Starbucks is updating its rewards program, CNBC reported. The company is rolling out new redemption options beginning in mid-April. Customers will be able to redeem 25 stars for a dairy substitute, espresso shot or additional flavor. They can also use 50 stars for a hot tea, brewed hot coffee or bakery item, or 150 stars for a hot breakfast, parfait or handcrafted drink. In addition, they can redeem 200 stars for a protein box, salad or lunch sandwich – and can get select merchandise or at-home coffee for 400 stars.

Customers who link their loyalty membership to a prepaid card or Starbucks Rewards Visa credit card will not have to fret about expiring points. As it stands, gold points expire six months following the calendar month in which they were earned. With the new offering, the green and gold tiers will be removed.

According to the outlet, the move is an effort to attract new members. The ranks of the company’s rewards program swelled by 14 percent from the first quarter a year before, and it now has more than 16.3 million active members, who comprise roughly 40 percent of the coffee chain’s transactions.

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