Caixin
Jan 04, 2018 11:57 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

JD.com Taps Physical Retail With First Offline Supermarket

JD.com says it plans to open more than 1,000 7Fresh store across China over the next three to five years. Photo: JD.com
JD.com says it plans to open more than 1,000 7Fresh store across China over the next three to five years. Photo: JD.com

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com on Thursday officially debuted its first offline fresh food supermarket in Beijing, following its archrival Alibaba Group Holding in entering the physical retail market.

The 4,000-square-meter supermarket in southern Beijing, named 7Fresh, has been in a trial run since Dec. 29, receiving an average of more than 10,000 daily customers and a total of more than 1 million yuan ($150 million) in daily sales, according to JD.com.

JD.com plans to open more than 1,000 7Fresh store across China over the next three to five years, said Wang Xiaosong, the president of 7Fresh. JD.com may seek partners to jointly operate the supermarkets, according to Wang.

7Fresh marks JD.com’s foray into the traditional retail market in a bid to reach new customers, collect valuable consumer data and link the online and offline world. Rival Alibaba, the country’s top e-commerce operator, opened a brick-and-mortar fresh food supermarket chain Hema in 2016.

Internet retail giants have competed fiercely for online grocery and food sales over the past couple of years. Now the top players are extending the battlefield offline.

Alibaba announced Wednesday that it will open 30 Hema supermarkets in Beijing this year.

Both 7Fresh and Hema focus on sales of fresh food like vegetables, fruit and seafood. They have both launched a mobile application allowing users to place orders online and have their purchases delivered to their doorstep.

7Fresh’s Wang said JD is working on integrating the supply chains of its online grocery sales platform and 7Fresh stores. Wang said 7Fresh will be benefit from JD.com’s strong price negotiation power.

Contact reporter Han Wei (weihan@caixin.com)

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