Starbucks will work with e-Commerce giant Alibaba to launch a delivery service and digital Starbucks hub in China. The partnership seeks to create seamless shopping experience across multiple businesses, including Ele.me, Hema, Tmall, Taobao and Alipay.
Starbucks will work with Ele.me to open Starbucks Delivery Kitchens in September 2018, piloting a delivery service at 150 stores in Beijing and Shanghai. The retailers plan to expand to more than 2,000 locations in 30 cities by the end of 2018.
Additionally, Hema supermarkets will establish Starbucks Delivery Kitchens in their stores, utilizing existing delivery capabilities to assist with fulfillment. The facilities will initially open in select Hema stores in Shanghai and Hangzhou before expanding to other locations.
Alibaba also will develop a centralized Starbucks e-Commerce management hub for China. Shoppers will be able to access Starbucks features such as gift cards and the coffee retailer’s loyalty program through a variety of apps, including Taobao, Alipay, Tmall and Koubei.
The strategic partnership is part of Alibaba’s New Retail initiative, which aims to improve the omnichannel experience across the retail giant’s offerings. Alibaba’s mobile apps had a combined total of 617 million users as of May 2018.