Starbucks China and Alibaba have announced 'a deep, strategic New Retail partnership'.
Alliance between giants
Next month, Starbucks China will begin to offer coffee delivery via Alibaba's Ele.me. The service will be available at 150 stores in Beijing and Shanghai and the coffee chain will also open delivery kitchens to fulfil orders. The service is expected to be rolled-out to more than 2,000 Starbucks stores across 30 cities in China by the end of the year.
Seamless Starbucks experience
The alliance between the two companies, however, extends beyond delivery with Starbucks China, supported by Alibaba's Hema supermarkets, Tmall, Taobao and Alipay. Starbucks and Alibaba will work together to provide customers with precise delivery times, offering a better shopping experience.
Starbucks will open delivery kitchens, for example, within Hema supermarkets and will take advantage of Alibaba's strong fulfilment and delivery capabilities. Hema stores will also help to gather data to support location planning for future Starbucks stores, combined with delivery kitchens. The first few delivery kitchens will be opened in Hema supermarkets in Shanghai and Hangzhou next month.
More about Ele.me
In April, Alibaba acquired the remaining shares of Ele.me to fully take control of the online food delivery platform. Ele.me has three million registered delivery riders, and is already being integrated into Alibaba's wider ecosystem. The platform benefits from insights acquired from Taobao, Tmall and Alipay, driving stronger traffic to the site and boosting the company's understanding on shopper preferences.
Ele.me's Chief Executive Officer, Wang Lai, said, '"We view the limited penetration of delivery in the food and beverage sector to-date as a tremendous opportunity for growth [...]."