Walgreens adds Alipay at 75% of its stores

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Walgreens is expanding its payment options to include Alipay, Ant Financial’s mobile wallet, at most of its U.S. stores.

Through a new agreement, Chinese consumers—including travelers and long-term visitors and students—will be able to pay via Alipay in more than 7,000 of Walgreens’ 9,560 stores, the companies said in a Wednesday press release.

Bloomberg News

The move builds on an existing connection Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens has with Ant’s affiliated Alibaba e-commerce site, where the drugstore chain sells online to Chinese consumers, according to the release.

“Not only can [Chinese consumers] 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,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens’ president of operations, in the release.

“This is a key strategic partnership for achieving awareness in the U.S. as Walgreens is one of the country’s largest drugstore chains,” said Yulei Wang, general manager for Alipay North America, in the release.

Alipay started its quest for broad expansion in North America beginning with alliances with First Data and Verifone in 2016. The following year Alipay gained acceptance at numerous U.S. airport shops and other tourism centers, and in 2018 it penetrated mainstream shopping and dining zones.


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