Starbucks and on-demand delivery platform Ele.me have introduced a delivery service to nine new cities in China.
This move is part of a collaboration plan established between Starbucks and Alibaba, which owns Ele.me, in August this year. The company is currently offering delivery services in Shanghai and Beijing.
Starbucks China CEO Belinda Wong said in a statement: “We set out to earn our right to do coffee delivery the right way in China by leading and up levelling the standards for the entire coffee industry, with no compromise on the Starbucks quality at any step.
“Our market-leading scale and the positive customer trial and adoption we have seen in the first month of operations have given us even greater confidence that we will successfully bring this exceptional delivery experience to more than 2,000 stores across 30 cities by the end of year.”
The coffeehouse chain has also designed a spill-proof lid for both hot and cold beverages along with tamper-proofing packaging seals. It serves customers in Ele.me delivery containers to maintain optimal temperature.
As part of the collaboration with Alibaba, Starbucks has introduced its Star Kitchens concept in two of the retailer’s tech-driven Hema supermarkets located at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou and at Baodi Mall in Shanghai.
Starbucks plans to introduce the concept to more cities across China. Star Kitchens will use Hema’s fulfilment and delivery capabilities to expand Starbucks’ delivery service.
Additional reporting by Jasmine Lee-Zogbessou
Starbucks also previously announced a virtual store as part of the partnership, which features a centralised online management hub. This allows for a ‘more personalised’ consumer experience across the Starbucks and Alibaba apps, as well as the ability to purchase merchandise and buy handcrafted beverages.
The coffee giant also plans to include its rewards platform within the system.
Starbucks China CEO Belinda Wong said in a statement: “More significantly, through our partnership with Alibaba, we are breaking the physical and virtual barriers between the home, office, in-store and digital space, making China the first Starbucks market to deliver a seamless Starbucks Experience across all facets of our customers’ lives and further reflecting the uniqueness and strategic importance of the market.”