China news and analysis

21 October 2020
The Tencent-backed retail services platform opened its first AI-powered shop in Beijing, China, on 14 October. Integration of unmanned store and unmanned delivery Situated in the Shougang business pilot zone in Beijing, Meituan’s MAI shop integrates an unmanned store with unmanned delivery using AI technology and robots. The store sells a range of food from snacks and beverages to dai...
20 October 2020
Last week, Alibaba Group President Michael Evans joined NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay to discuss Alibaba’s response to COVID-19, and how the pandemic has altered the retail landscape in both the short term and long term. We share some of the key highlights. What has been the journey for Alibaba and its merchants since Feb 2020? Alibaba has been adjusting the business to respond to the ...
19 October 2020
Alibaba is investing approximately US$3.6bn to double its stake in Sun Art to 72%, taking control of the largest retailer in China. Alibaba is purchasing the stake from Auchan, which on completion of the sale will see it exit the Chinese market. Alibaba strengthening bricks-and-mortar presence Auchan has accepted Alibaba’s offer to acquire its remaining c.36% stake in Sun Art. Alibaba acqui...
09 October 2020
Alibaba is set to acquire a stake of around 10% in travel duty-free company Dufry. New Retail and digital transformation Full details of the deal have not yet been disclosed. It would, include, however, a new joint venture setup (51% owned by Alibaba and 49% by Dufry). As part of the JV, Dufry will contribute its existing travel retail business in China. Dufry is the world’s largest duty...
08 October 2020
Seizing the current “small and beautiful” retail trend in the country, Carrefour launched its first fresh food community store in Shanghai on 30 September. Fresh food and community focused store Situated at No. 1157, Zhonghua New Road, Shanghai, the store occupies an area of approximately 430 square meters. The store carries around 3,000 SKUs, with a focus on fresh products. The range of...
02 October 2020
With Walmart confirming the sale of its UK-business, Asda, to the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital, we look at what the deal means for the retailer. 1. Opportunity to benefit from business improvement This transaction follows on from a similar move in Brazil in 2018, when the retailer divested an 80% majority stake of its operations in the country to private equity firm, Advent Internati...
30 September 2020
Joining the competition with Costco and Walmart’s Sam’s Club, the retailer opens its first membership-only wholesale store in Shanghai. Challenging Sam’s Club and Costco The new wholesale store, known as X store, opens in Shanghai on 1 October. Goods bought in the X store can be delivered in half a day if the customer lives within a 20-km radius from it. “ We hope we can improve our capa...
29 September 2020
Aeon Stores Hong Kong, which operates stores in Hong Kong and on mainland China has posted a 6.7% increase in sales revenue to HKD5,158m (US$665.5m) for the six months ended June 30, 2020. Hong Kong revenue up 15.9% YoY Revenue from Hong Kong operations in the first half increased by 15.9% to HKD2,423m YoY. The Group expects to expedite the opening of Living Plaza branches in the third quar...
29 September 2020
Alexander Kremer, a Director in JD.com’s Omnichannel Supermarket Group, discusses how JD.com’s omnichannel business has evolved in recent years, the impact of COVID and ways that Western brands could adopt to enter China. Prior to joining JD.com, Alexander worked at Mobvoi, McKinsey & Company, and IBM. His study background is in Global Affairs (Schwarzman College/Tsinghua University) and Inter...
25 September 2020
We review Costco’s fourth quarter and full year sales, including the outlook for the holiday season, ecommerce development and further expansion. Key numbers Q4 net sales increased 12.5% to $52.3bn Comparable store sales increased 14.1%, ex-fuel and currency impacts; 13.6% in the US, 12.6% in Canada and 18.8% in other international markets Comparable ecommerce sales increased 91.3%...