Costco Wholesale has launched a flagship store on Alibaba's Tmall as it looks to further expand the products it sells to Chinese consumers.
One step closer to opening physical stores
Costco started selling in China three years ago, on Alibaba's cross-border e-commerce channel Tmall Global. By operating on both platforms, Costco will be able to offer nearly 800 SKUs to customers in China, about 300 of which are a part of the new Tmall store.
The company is adding furniture, consumer electronics and wine to its product mix, expanding its ranges on clothing, food and health and beauty.
Costco was able to operate the store on Tmall Global without a licence to operate retail business in China, with all its products stored and shipped from bonded warehouses. The opening of the store on Tmall shows that Costco has obtained the licence and is able to sell in China. It has always been Costco's goal to set up physical stores in the country, and this brings it one step closer.
Costco and Alibaba
Costco has had a successful run since its launch on Alibaba. In 2015, it set a Guinness World Record when it sold 7,238 tons of mixed nuts during the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. It was also one of eight brands to offer a virtual reality shopping experience during last year’s Singles' Day shopping festival.
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Shirley Zhu, Programme Director: Shirley Zhu leads IGD’s research programme in the South-East Asia region from our Singapore office. She has extensive research experience in the FMCG industry and has helped many multinational and local clients achieve their strategic objectives. Contact Shirley at [email protected] for further insight on the region.