Starbucks to form a strategic retail partnership with Alibaba

CHINA – Starbucks Coffee Company, a multinational coffee company, and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., a Chinese multinational e-commerce company, have announced a strategic “New Retail” partnership to expand market service.

According to Starbucks, the partnership will enable a seamless Starbucks Experience and transform the coffee industry in China.

Starbucks announced plans to pilot delivery services beginning September 2018, establish “Starbucks Delivery Kitchens” for delivery order fulfillment and integrate multiple platforms to co-create an unprecedented virtual Starbucks store – an unparalleled and even more personalized online Starbucks Experience for Chinese customers.

The company added that this announcement marks a historic moment as two iconic, global companies build on their distinct retail and technology strengths to revolutionize the customer experience.

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“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.”

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.”

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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.

“Our Chinese customers have a high expectation of their Starbucks Experience and we are proud to introduce a premium delivery experience that reflects the same service and quality they’ve come to love and expect from us in our stores – we will never compromise,” said Belinda Wong, chief executive officer, Starbucks China.

“More significantly, through our partnership with Alibaba, we are breaking the physical and virtual barriers between the home, office, in-store and digital space, making China the first Starbucks market to deliver a seamless Starbucks Experience across all facets of our customers’ lives and further reflecting the uniqueness and strategic importance of the market.”

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