Starbucks (SBUX) has big plans for 2019. In an investor conference yesterday, executives announced it will begin offering coffee delivery from a quarter of its company-owned U.S. stores in partnership with UberEats next year.
Also yesterday, Starbucks released a digital storefront in China in partnership with Alibaba (BABA). More than 2,000 Starbucks stores in China now offer delivery, and Starbucks is surely going to use the knowledge it gained there to expand its delivery options in the U.S.
Starbucks began a pilot delivery program in Miami in September, and now 2,000 stores will offer delivery options via UberEats. The Wall Street Journal reports the company has solved some of the delivery challenges with splash-proof lids, containers designed to keep drinks hot or cold and tamper-proof packaging seals.
CEO Kevin Johnson and other executives revealed the company’s goal to expand its retail store portfolio by 6% to 7% net new units and grow same-store sales by 3% to 4% globally. Starbucks has been streamlining its operations to focus more on its core U.S. and Chinese markets.
Meanwhile, Starbucks’ first Reserve Roastery in New York City opened its doors today in the Meatpacking District. The 23,000-square-foot retail space features two coffee bars, an aperitivo bar, and a Princi bakery. Nitro cold brew, first offered in the Seattle Roastery, will be rolled out to all U.S. Starbucks stores by the end of 2019.