Starbucks expands Chinese delivery

Starbucks has expanded its delivery service in China to over 1,100 stores – a model which could be replicated in the US.

“If I look at some of the things we are innovating and doing here in China, we are going to leverage those learnings and apply them to other parts of the world including the US,” CEO Kevin Johnson said.

The coffee giant has partnered with Ele.Me, a division of massive e-commerce site Alibaba. This partnership also gives Starbucks access to Alibaba’s supermarket, online marketplace, e-commerce and payment systems. Orders will be taken at cafés as well as in ‘Star Kitchens,’ smaller cafés located in Hema supermarkets, China’s equivalent of Amazon’s cashless outlets in the US.

“Each Star Kitchen will utilise Hema’s distinct fulfilment and delivery capabilities to complement the delivery of handcrafted Starbucks coffee and tea beverages offered through existing Starbucks stores,” the company said in a statement.

Johnson has said that this in only the beginning of delivery in China, with Starbucks hoping to expand delivery to over 2,000 stores by the end of the month. In the US, though, it is a completely different story in the US where only 100 stores in Florida deliver through Uber Eats – the first new delivery development in over three years.