Manner Coffee shares location with real estate broker Lianjia

You can now grab a coffee while chatting with an estate agent. Or do the reverse and browse for your new home while waiting for your coffee. On 7 April, Shanghai boutique coffee chain Manner and estate agent Lianjia opened a joint branch at Zhongtan Road in Putuo, Shanghai.

The store is divided into two halves, with signs displaying the logos of both partners each on one side. Inside, Manner’s coffee counter is on the left while Lianjia’s reception stands on the right. At the opening event, locals were invited to share free cake and coffee and canned and boxed drinks to take home. The first 200 people visiting the Manner x Lianjia branch for coffee and posting on social media could also win a thermos cup. On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, the topic “Manner and Lianjia shared storefront appears in Shanghai” (#上海惊现链家MANNER共享门店#) gained 1.54 million views in less than 12 hours.

According to Li Jiawei, Director of Lianjia Shanghai’s brand centre, the estate agent has long aspired to create a shared space for community activities, making its offline location more than just offices and meeting rooms between agents and clients. It hopes that the local community can relax, read and drink coffee at its offices. Back in 2020, Lianjia partnered with Xinhua Bookstore to create a “city library” at 20 of its branches. Manner, as a native Shanghai brand, helps Lianjia to integrate into the local community.

Manner has been slowly expanding its presence. Last October the boutique chain opened its 1,000 directly operated branches, before reaching 1,100 the next day and 1,200 in a month. It has been focusing on quality and lifestyle, compared to its price and discount-driven competitors like Luckin Coffee. But interestingly, the estate agent branch is reminiscent of Luckin Coffee’s “targeted location franchising” where the coffee giant targets offices, hospitals, campuses and tourist attractions for new franchises. Although Manner is not competing with Luckin in scale and price range, how they target key and innovative offline spaces is interesting to watch, just as how Manner does collaborations differently.


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