Starbucks is expanding its delivery capabilities across China, Japan and the U.S. through partnerships with Uber Eats and Alibaba. The coffee retailer also is bolstering its retail presence with a range of Starbucks-branded products for the Nespresso and Dolce Gusto systems.
Starbucks recently launched a pilot of the Starbucks Delivers program in both Tokyo and Miami through Uber Eats. The retailer plans to expand delivery to at least 25% of its U.S. company-owned stores by early 2019.
Delivery in China debuted three months ago and already reaches 2,000 locations across 30 cities. The service taps the Ele.me on-demand platform for delivery, which is part of Starbucks’ broader alliance with Alibaba.
Starbucks also has opened two “Star Kitchens” in FRESHIPPO (formerly Hema) supermarkets in Shanghai and Hangzhou, creating a dedicated back-of-house presence in those stores. These locations utilize the grocers’ existing delivery capabilities to assist with fulfillment.
Additionally, Starbucks has launched a virtual Starbucks store in China that has unified the online ordering experience across the Starbucks, Taobao, Tmall and Alipay apps. The combined programs reach approximately 670 million active users, enabling them to place orders and earn rewards from the Starbucks Rewards program through a common interface.
An assortment of Starbucks-branded Nespresso and Dolce Gusto products will roll out globally in spring 2019 at both retail and foodservice establishments. The move will make Starbucks the only brand (outside of Nestlé) to have products produced and packaged by Nestlé for both platforms. Together, the platforms are estimated to have a larger worldwide reach than any other single-serve system.