[Japan] LINE Corporation and Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ltd. Enter Into Comprehensive Partnership

2018.12.05 Corporate

● Starbucks stores and LINE's services join forces to create new innovation

TOKYO – December 5, 2018 – LINE Corporation and Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ltd. ("Starbucks") have entered into a comprehensive partnership to accelerate efforts to produce digital innovation.

Starbucks values "moments of connection" – its brand promise. The STARBUCKS REWARDS™ loyalty program that launched in September 2017 is home to over 2.5 million members, and serving as an opportunity for customers to find their own Starbucks experience and enrich their connection with the brand. Starbucks will continue to set the pace in digital innovation, and foster connections with customers by improving customer satisfaction, convenience, and overall experience.

Under its corporate mission of "Closing the Distance," LINE Corporation is driving forward a Smart Portal strategy in which the LINE messaging app serves as a gateway that seamlessly connects users with people, information, services, companies, and brands. It is carrying out a variety of initiatives in its two principal pillars of business – content, comprised of news, manga, games, and other entertainment, and day-to-day services, including payment and shopping – and offering a range of quality services to its over 78 million MAU*. LINE's FinTech services, including LINE Pay that has over 40 million registrants worldwide (30 million of whom are in Japan), are especially well received among users for not only their high level of security but also their accessibility and innovation.

* Number of monthly active users in Japan


In the latest all encompassing partnership between LINE Corporation and Starbucks, the two companies aim to build a world that inspires and nurtures the human spirit, and brings people closer together.

At Starbucks stores, one in four customers are currently using a Starbucks Card, the Starbucks mobile app, or other cashless payment options. Through the integration of Starbucks and LINE's service, exciting innovation will be brought to the Starbucks Card and other digital payments in the first half of 2019. Partnership details are expected to be announced in an official press conference planned in spring 2019.


Scheduled initiative examples

* Launch of a LINE Official Account (spring 2019)

Starbucks plans to open a Starbucks LINE Official Account. LINE users can friend the account to stay up-to-date on the latest Starbucks product news and receive other enticing content in ways that leverage LINE account specifications.

* Installation of LINE Pay Terminals at Starbucks stores (starting in 2018 with selected stores)

LINE Pay Terminals – stand-alone devices that can instantly begin accepting LINE Pay QR code payments without any system integration necessary – are expected to be installed at Starbucks stores. The initiative aims to enhance the customer experience by offering a smooth purchase flow.


About Starbucks Coffee Japan, Inc.  http://www.starbucks.co.jp/en/

Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ltd. was established in October 1995 as a joint venture between SAZABY Inc. (now SAZABY LEAGUE, Ltd.) and Starbucks Coffee International, Inc., the international arm and subsidiary of the US Starbucks Corporation. It opened its first store in Japan in 1996 in Ginza, Tokyo. Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ltd. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Starbucks Corporation in 2015. As of September 30, 2018, a total of 1,392 Starbucks stores (including licensed stores) are operating in all 47 prefectures in Japan.


About LINE Corporation  https://linecorp.com/

With the LINE messaging app consistently serving as the cornerstone, LINE Corporation is developing and operating a wide range of mobile-first services in areas including communication, content, entertainment, and advertising, and also expanding its business in the FinTech and AI domains.
Under its corporate mission of "Closing the Distance," LINE Corporation strives to bring people around the world closer to each other, information, and services.