The US-based coffeehouse chain is trying to boost its business in China, while Beijing and Shanghai will officially be the first two beneficiaries of this move.
The delivery service will begin in September from 150 Starbucks stores located in key trade zones in these two cities. The service will tentatively expand to more than 2,000 stores across 30 cities by the end of 2018.
It was reported that Ele.me, Alibaba’s food delivery arm, would help fuel Starbucks’ growth in China. Reuters today reported that businesses within the Alibaba group, including supermarket chain Hema, online retailers Tmall and Taobao, and mobile and online payment platform Alipay, will join the collaboration as well.
The partnership will leverage 3 million registered riders of Ele.me, and Starbucks will establish “Starbucks Delivery Kitchens” inside Hema stores and use the supermarket’s delivery system to fulfill Starbucks delivery orders.
No financial details were revealed for this partnership. Before this deal, Starbucks had no formal online delivery in China, only unapproved third-party delivery services had filled that gap by placing large Starbucks orders for delivery to their own customers.