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Alibaba will open its first physical mall in China

Discussion in 'Technology & Science' started by Shahzaz ud din, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Shahzaz ud din

    Shahzaz ud din SENIOR MEMBER

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    Alibaba will open its first physical mall in China
    brian wang | September 12, 2017 |
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    A five-floor mall is being built near Alibaba’s headquarters in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, according to financial news site Caixin. The Alibaba shopping center reportedly will be called “More Mall” and is set to open in April.

    The mall was built on a 40,000-square-meter plot of land. Currently, construction crews are finishing up work on the building’s interior.

    This year marked the start of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s “new retail” era — a phrase the firm has seeded in its announcements. In essence it is a strategy to blend online, offline, logistics and data units across a single value chain, Alibaba founder Jack Ma said in February.

    Under the initiative, Alibaba is moving fast into offline spaces to help remake traditional retailing, including launching unmanned convenience store and bringing big data technology to 1 million mom-and-pop stores. Now, it’s building its first shopping center.

    Alibaba will bring its “new retail technologies” to More Mall, including high-tech makeup-testing mirrors and virtual fitting rooms, the report said, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter. Alibaba unveiled these technologies in June in what it called a “New Retail Interactive Store,” in a shopping mall in Hangzhou.

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    More Mall will exhibit a number of brands that are on sale on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Taobao, as well as many conventional retail brands. It will also introduce Alibaba’s grocery store, dubbed Hema. The outlet will be the first flagship Hema store in Hangzhou.

    E-commerce currently accounts for around 15% of total retail in China. Alibaba’s goal is not to make incremental progress on that 15%, but to digitally transform the remaining 85%, the company said in an online post.

    With the new goal, Ma seems to have doubled down on a bet between him and Wang Jialing, founder of Dalian Wanda Group, China’s largest commercial property developer, which operates shopping malls and movie theater chains throughout China.

    In 2012, Ma told Wang the e-commerce sector will eventually “basically” replace traditional retail, though it won’t be able to completely replace it. Under the terms of the bet, if online consumption has exceeded 50% of China’s total retail volume in 2022, Wang would pay Ma 100 million yuan ($15.3 million). If not, Ma would give Wang the same amount.
     
  2. cirr

    cirr ELITE MEMBER

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    Alibaba opening more fresh food stores

    2018-01-04 09:27 China Daily Editor: Li Yahui

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    Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, savors the king crab he ordered at Hema Xiansheng, an emerging online-to-offline supermarket backed by Alibaba, in Shanghai in July. (Provided to China Daily)

    Alibaba Group Holding Ltd announced on Wednesday the opening of another 30 Hema Xiansheng fresh food supermarkets throughout Beijing this year, as internet giants focus increasingly on the lucrative fresh-food retail sector.

    The announcement came right before JD's first fresh food supermarket 7Fresh started its official operation on Thursday, an indication of the increasingly intense competition and rapid expansion of the two e-commerce giants.

    With Hema opening in major commercial districts across Beijing including Xizhimen, Guang'anmen and Shuangjing, consumers in major urban areas of Beijing can have their groceries delivered to a location within a radius of three kilometers from the store in 30 minutes.

    "We are proud to announce that Hema has discovered an exclusive means of 'new retail' at the beginning of the new year and is expanding quickly in China and outside the world," said Hou Yi, CEO of Hema.

    According to Hou, Hema stores are an example of Alibaba's new retail strategy, which aims to digitalize and transform the traditional grocery shopping experience and integrate online and offline shopping.

    The Hema stores, which feature a fresh seafood section including king crab and lobster, provide customers the option to either pop into the store and choose their goods, or order online through a proprietary app and have it delivered within half an hour.

    The new business model also allows customers to eat in-store through buying products in the supermarket and getting its restaurant staff to cook it.

    The online giant said last year that its first such store, which opened more than two years ago in Shanghai, has become profitable.

    Shoppers on average make 4.5 purchases per month and visit the supermarket 50 times a year, according to the company. The stores' sales per unit area is three-to-five times those of other supermarkets.

    While Hema has opened five stores in Beijing so far, Hou added that in 2018 the company will "concentrate more on the Beijing market in addition to expanding its business across China".

    Faced with increasingly fierce domestic competition, the company said that it will strive to improve retail efficiency using new technologies to develop new products and meet new demand.

    http://www.ecns.cn/business/2018/01-04/286898.shtml