Starbucks to pilot 'Green Apron' delivery

Buoyed by a host of early successes, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is moving forward with its Mobile Order & Pay program as the company explores new ways of bringing coffee to office settings and customers in select urban areas.

The delivery program is a partnership with Postdates, an on-demand delivery format now operating in 20 cities, including Chicago, New York City, Portland and San Francisco. Starbucks by Postmates is expected to begin later this year.  

"The collaboration makes sense given Starbucks' broad retail footprint and sophisticated mobile ecosystem," said a statement on the Postmates blog. "The customer experience is driven through the Starbucks mobile application, where customers can select and tailor food and beverages, relay the order electronically to their stores, and initiate a delivery via Postmates to have the order picked up and delivered to them."

A second initiative slated for later in the year aims to bring Starbucks barristas to the office.

"We're calling it 'Green Apron' delivery," said Adam Brotman, Starbucks chief digital officer, during the company's annual meeting with shareholders. "In dense, urban environments like office buildings, we believe we've cracked the code on another way to bring Starbucks to our customers, and that's to have baristas on hand to provide an exclusive service within an office building—this will be great in places like New York City. That's exactly where we plan on launching later this year."

The details and timing of both these programs will be released at a later date, said Brotman.

And of course, Starbucks said it will expand Mobile Order & Pay beyond the initial Portland-area test market to three more states: Washington, Idaho and Alaska. Mobile Order & Pay is now in 600 stores and a national rollout is planned for later this year.

"Customers who have experienced Mobile Order and Pay are giving us some of the highest satisfaction scores with their experience that we've seen to date," Brotman said. "We are on track for a national rollout in 2015. Internationally, we intend to launch Mobile Order & Pay in Canada and pilot the program in the U.K. as well."

Starbucks' growing mobile program is the gold standard for merchants. The coffee chain has more than 14 million active users on its app and processes roughly 8 million mobile payment transactions each week. "This translates to roughly 18 percent of all transactions in our stores, which is more than half of every card transaction—all done through mobile," Brotman said. "This significant growth demonstrates the power and momentum of our mobile ecosystem."

For more:
-See this Starbucks press release
-See this Postmates blog post

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