Within less than two months following the introduction of “Starbucks Delivers” in China, this best-in-class coffee delivery service, launched in partnership with Ele.Me, is now available across more than 1,100 stores in 17 Chinese cities, with full-service coverage in Beijing and Shanghai. In addition, Starbucks piloted the operations of its first “Star Kitchens” located within two Hema supermarkets in Shanghai and Hangzhou. Each “Star Kitchen” will utilize Hema’s distinct fulfillment and delivery capabilities to complement the delivery of handcrafted Starbucks coffee and tea beverages offered through existing Starbucks stores.
“We set out to earn our right to do coffee delivery the right way in China by leading and up leveling the standards for the entire coffee industry, with no compromise on the Starbucks quality at any step,” says Belinda Wong, CEO, Starbucks China. “Our market-leading scale and the positive customer trial and adoption we have seen in the first two months 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. And we will do this with the deep respect for coffee, relentless pursuit for excellence and agility that only Starbucks can in China.”
As one of the key enablers of the transformative strategic partnership with Alibaba Group, “Starbucks Delivers” is a distinctive model built on the foundations of Starbucks 47-year coffee leadership and Alibaba’s Ele.me and Hema supermarkets’ delivery network and order fulfillment capabilities. Beyond delivery, the deep “New Retail” collaboration will also see the co-creation of an innovative seamless digital experience, for the Chinese consumer, across Starbucks and the Alibaba ecosystems, including Ele.me, Hema, Tmall, Taobao and Alipay.
“Starbucks Delivers” Defining New Standards in Coffee Delivery in China
Working closely with Ele.me, Starbucks has brought the same promise of coffee quality and consistency beyond the physical walls of Starbucks stores, and into the hands of even more Chinese customers. Each element within “Starbucks Delivers” has been customized and meticulously curated to Starbucks high standards. These include specially designed spill-proof lids, for hot and cold beverages, tamper-proof packaging seals, unique Ele.me delivery containers to ensure the right temperature and uncompromising standards for beverage and food quality and safety, and dedicated Ele.me delivery riders. An intelligent order-and-delivery system will automatically choose the nearest Starbucks location to fulfill an order to ensure timely and efficient delivery.
Starbucks is also the first retail brand to establish dedicated kitchens within Hema and each has been designed to Starbucks exact standards to handcraft the consistent quality coffee and tea beverages that customers have come to expect and love. The “Star Kitchen” will leverage Hema’s fulfillment and delivery capabilities, within a 30-minute delivery time-frame, to further expand the scale and reach of Starbucks delivery services. More significantly, this is a strategic move that will enable Starbucks baristas to continue to focus on preserving the high levels of third-place experience for Starbucks customers in existing physical stores. Starbucks piloted the operations of its first “Star Kitchen” in the Hema supermarkets within Alibaba Campus in Hangzhou and Shanghai Baodi Mall, with plans to expand the presence to other Chinese cities over time.
As a coffee leader deeply rooted in China, for China, Starbucks is committed to partnering with industry leaders who share common values in the spirit of innovation to elevate and create an even more personalized Starbucks Experience for its Chinese customers.