Starbucks ties up with Alibaba for coffee delivery in China
Shanghai (China): American coffee chain Starbucks on Thursday announced that it has tied up with Chinese tech giant Alibaba to begin coffee delivery across China.
Starbucks coffees and products would be available for order on Alibaba's food delivery platform Ele.me, while "delivery kitchens" in Alibaba's Hema grocery stores would brew and deliver Starbucks drinks, the companies said in a statement.
"Our transformational partnership with Alibaba will reshape modern retail and represents a significant milestone in our efforts to exceed the expectations of Chinese consumers," said Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer, Starbucks Coffee Company.
"Thanks to the elevated customer experience delivered by our over 45,000 partners, Starbucks is growing and innovating faster in China than anywhere else in the world," he was quoted as saying by Efe news.
Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said that the partnership was part of the company's plans to expand its online business to physical stores.
The deliveries would start from September in 150 outlets in Beijing and Shanghai, which would be extended to more than 2,000 outlets across 30 Chinese cities by the end of 2018.
Customers would be able to pay for all services using Alibaba's payment platform, Alipay.