Alibaba plans to open 2,000 branches of its Hema Fresh supermarket in China over the next three to five years.
From 22 to 2,000
By the end of 2017, Hema would be operating 22 stores in Beijing, Guiyang, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen. In December, it opened its second store in Ningbo and will open another outlet in Suzhou by the end of the year.
The aggressive expansion plan shows Alibaba's commitment to its 'New Retail' concept, which brings online and offline grocery shopping together.
Targeting more retail partners
According to Hema, about half of sales at Hema stores take place online. The company claims that customers within a 3km radius of a store can have their shopping delivered within 30 minutes.
Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang says Hema draws on data and smart logistics technology to seamlessly integrate online and offline systems.
“Hema’s goal is to broaden the new retail model by working with retail partners like Sanjiang Shopping Club and Xingli Department Store,” says Hema CEO Hou Yi. “As our model becomes more established, it can be shared with other traditional retailers to help them transform in the digital age.”
Interested in this revolutionary store format? Subscribers can access our Hema Fresh store visit report.