With an Alibaba partnership, Starbucks’ delivery service in China has a wide reach: the chain offers delivery in 17 cities in the country in 1,100 stores after coming online in September in Shanghai and Beijing, Chain Store Age reported.
Starbucks China CEO Belinda Wong said, “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.”
When a customer places an order, the service finds the closest location of the coffee chain that can fill the order. After an order is made, it is put in packaging with tamper-proof seals and spill-proof lids. At the same time, delivery containers keep products at their proper temperatures.
Starbucks is focused on China when it comes to planning for the future. The company is building a new store in the country every 15 hours, and views boosting growth there as one of its “three strategic priorities,” said Starbucks CEO and President Kevin Johnson at the Fortune Global Forum in Toronto in mid-October.
With more than 3,000 stores already in operation in the country, another 2,000 are slated to open by 2021. In fact, the company builds more new company-operated locations in China than in its home country Wong told CNBC in December. “To us, we open 500-plus stores a year, but to us, it’s not about 500,” said Wong. “It’s about opening a store 500 different times because you’re in a different neighborhood and we’ve got to build that relationship with our customer.”
China is Starbucks’ second largest — and fastest growing — market. Starbucks China serves more than five million customers per week, most of whom visit between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., though the country is beginning to adopt the U.S. custom of morning coffee beverages as well.