What happened: Starbucks is planning to deliver coffee with the help of Alibaba-owned food delivery platform Ele.me, according to unnamed sources. The move comes after Starbucks reported a 2% decline in revenues for the last quarter. The two companies are yet to confirm the news.
Why it’s important: Starbucks has been shaken by fast-rising competition from Luckin Coffee, a “new retail” company which is leveraging China’s increasing dependency on delivery services. Luckin is relying concept that combines in-shop and online shopping experiences originally introduced by Alibaba and so far it has served it well. It also managed to create additional buzz for itself by threatening Starbucks with an unfair competition lawsuit. Starbucks, however, is not resting: the company has already made building its brand on China’s favorite social platform WeChat and launching an AR game.