Starbucks and Alibaba in China are to collaborate on businesses in the Alibaba ‘ecosystem,’ including Ele.me, Hema, Tmall, Taobao and Alipay.
Starbucks said it would work with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on what it described as “a deep, strategic ‘New Retail’ partnership” that will enable a seamless Starbucks experience and “transform” the coffee industry in China.
Collaborating with Alibaba businesses, including Ele.me, Hema, Tmall, Taobao and Alipay, Starbucks announced plans to pilot delivery services beginning in September 2018, establish ‘Starbucks Delivery Kitchens’ for order fulfilment and integrate multiple platforms to co-create a virtual Starbucks store for Chinese customers.
“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,” said Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks.
“Our transformational partnership with Alibaba will reshape modern retail and represents a significant milestone in our efforts to exceed the expectations of Chinese consumers. Starbucks China is one to watch, and I have full confidence in the team that will bring the new innovation behind the Starbucks Experience to life.”
Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of the Alibaba Group, said, “Starbucks is more than a destination for premium coffee and we share the same vision to pioneer a new coffee culture and lifestyle through innovation and technology.
“Alibaba is thrilled to expand our existing partnership with Starbucks by leveraging our cutting-edge New Retail infrastructure and digital power to enable an unprecedented experience for consumers. This partnership is again a testament to the success of our new retail strategy.”
The strategic partnership is part of Alibaba’s broader New Retail push, which aims to transform how commerce is conducted by merging online and offline experiences.
New Retail was introduced by Alibaba in 2016 and has since become a hallmark of its strategy in the retail industry.