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Starbucks partners with UberEats to bring delivery to some US locations in 2019

Starbucks Corp. is collaborating with Uber Technologies Inc. UberEats to launch delivery at nearly a quarter of its company-owned U.S. stores in 2019, the coffee giant said during a Dec. 13 investor conference.

The company earlier in the year launched pilot delivery programs in Tokyo and Miami, a spokesperson told S&P Global Market Intelligence in an email. Starbucks operated 8,575 of its more than 14,000 U.S. stores as of Sept. 30, while franchisees operated the remainder, according to the company.

Starbucks already offers delivery in more than 2,000 stores across 30 cities in China through a partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s Ele.me platform, the company said.

A licensing deal with Nestlé SA will contribute to Starbucks' adjusted EPS growth in fiscal years 2020 and 2021, helping to deliver an expected annual growth of at least 13% in both of those fiscal years, new CFO and Executive Vice President Patrick Grismer said during the conference.

Executives also reaffirmed guidance for fiscal 2019, including expectations of 2,100 net new Starbucks stores, adjusted EPS of $2.61 to $2.66, consolidated revenue growth of 5% to 7% and comparable store sales growth near the lower end of a range between 3% and 5%.

The company Dec. 13 also said it opened a previously announced virtual store in China. Customers can use the chain's own smartphone app, or Alibaba's Taobao, Tmall and Alipay apps to order drinks, food, digital gift cards and exclusive merchandise for delivery.