Alibaba is going to invest US$290 million to purchase almost a third of Sanjiang Shopping Club, a regional discount supermarket chain with more than a million members in China.
Online to offline
Alibaba, China’s largest ecommerce company has been investing in physical retail, including in Suning Commerce Group and Intime Retail Group, opening up new sales channels for these retailers and enhancing its own logistics network.
“Sanjiang shopping has an extensive offline network and experience in running retail stores,” Alibaba said in a stock exchange filing, “The two companies will work in procurement and logistics, and integrate business lines.”
Sanjiang Shopping Club
Sanjiang Shopping Club is a local version of Sam’s Club and sells groceries at discounted prices. It operates about 160 stores scattered in Zhejiang province in eastern China.
Sanjiang said it aims to use Alibaba's ecommerce platform to make the most of the increasingly competitive bricks-and-mortar retail sector as China's economic growth slows.