Sainsbury's to double the number of products in China

Date : 02 August 2016

Sainsbury’s is planning to double the number of products available on Alibaba's Tmall marketplace platform.

The intention is to sell 100 Sainsbury's branded products across four categories – British Breakfast, Drinks, Organic and Baby. There are also plans for more ranges to be added in the autumn.

A successful trial

Sainsbury’s relationship with Tmall started in September last year, joining several British retailers, including Burberry, ASOS and fellow grocers Waitrose, which sell products on Royal Mail’s online, Alibaba-owned website.

The retailer capitalised on its near-150-year UK heritage by offering classic components of the British afternoon tea including speciality teas, coffee and biscuits to Chinese customers alongside its own-brand items including organic British milk.

Online exclusive

Sainsbury’s has also announced its involvement in Tmall's annual 8.8 shopping event. Sainsbury’s will be the only international retailer to have a Super Brand Day during the sales event, which is set for 8 August.

"Chinese online shoppers are increasingly demanding high quality international products. Many customers also want to replicate tastes and occasions that they have enjoyed or heard about through international travel. Products to make a British breakfast and English afternoon tea have therefore proved hits and top-selling lines to date include Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Granola with raisins, honey and nuts, tea, shortbread and UHT milk," said John Rogers, chief financial officer at Sainsbury’s.

"Our trial with Tmall has enabled us to learn a lot about China’s huge digital market, including the importance of sales events such as Singles’ Day and 8.8. Alibaba’s expertise in the rapidly growing Chinese digital consumer market will be a huge asset to us as we grow and develop our business in China and we look forward to working with them on this exciting opportunity.”

Hear it first-hand

Sainsbury’s Director of Online, Robbie Feather and Leah Zhang from Alibaba Group’s International Business Development team will be presenting at IGD’s Online & Digital Summit this October. Hear from these leading retailers, and many more, about their online strategies and future plans by booking a place at the Summit.

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Toby Pickard is a Senior Multichannel and Innovation Analyst at IGD, specialising in innovations, online and digital insights and macro trends within the food and grocery sector to create strategic insights for industry. To learn more about how IGD's research can benefit your business further, please get in touch - [email protected]