US pharmacy giant Walgreens is teaming up with Alibaba’s mobile payment platform, Alipay, to make it easier for Chinese tourists to pick up their medicines and cosmetics from the chain.
The payment method has been made available at 3,000 Walgreens stores, including those in the places where Alipay users travel the most like New York City, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. By April, the number of stores with Alipay availability is expected to expand to more than 7,000 Walgreens locations.
Walgreens products are already available to Chinese consumers through its dedicated store on Alibaba’s Tmall online marketplace.
“Walgreens is focused on making shopping more convenient for our customers. This collaboration has particular significance for our Chinese customer population, who now has a new way to experience Walgreens,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations. “Not only can they buy our products via our dedicated store on Alibaba’s Tmall Global marketplace, but they will now also be able to shop in the U.S. using Alipay as they would in China. We look forward to the ongoing evolution of our partnership with Alibaba Group.”
According to a Nielsen report released last month, the number of Chinese tourists using mobile payment rose to 69 per cent in 2018 – with mobile payment transactions accounting for 32 per cent of all transactions made away from China, overtaking cash for the first time.
Alipay has formed similar partnerships with other businesses around the world, including a deal with Merlin Entertainments to bring the payment platform to London attractions like the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, and London Dungeon.