Starbucks teams up with Alibaba in China


Starbucks Coffee Company and Alibaba Group have announced a strategic “new retail” partnership in China. Collaborating across key businesses within the Alibaba ecosystem, including Ele.me, Hema, Tmall, Taobao and Alipay, Starbucks announced plans to pilot delivery services beginning September 2018, establish “Starbucks Delivery Kitchens” for delivery order fulfilment and integrate multiple platforms to co-create a virtual Starbucks store.

By leveraging the Alibaba ecosystem and ‘new retail’ infrastructure, Starbucks expects to further unify a seamless Starbucks Experience between its stores and online for 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, Starbucks Coffee Company.

“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.”

The partnership will see Alibaba develop a centralised online management hub, with the unique capabilities to integrate and deliver a consistent Starbucks Experience across multiple digital platforms. 

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. 

Source: The Alibaba Group

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