When we talk about the international story of discount retailer Walmart (WMT), the journey had both ups and downs. The retailer struggled to gain a foothold in China. And Walmart knew its success depends on joining forces with a Chinese company. Walmart’s partnership with Chinese e-commerce rival JD.com proved a successful one. This partnership combined the online retail with the bricks and mortar. And now according to the reports from Reuters, Walmart now has its first of its kind small advanced supermarket in China.
The latest small-format supermarket is said to store products that customers can buy either at the Walmart stores or from the JD.com. Though being a small supermarket the retailer is said to offer its tech-savvy customers an engaging experience by allowing them to use their smartphones to pay for the products they buy using WeChat.
Retail sales of consumer goods in China jumped 10.2% year-over-year to $5.69 trillion in 2017
However, the retailer has not listed out the details of the store – mainly the size of the store– that will be located in the southern city of Shenzhen. Reports suggest that the small supermarket will have over 8,000 items that range from fresh fruits to Chinese appetizers like stir-fried clams. Nearly 90% of these items will be sold online and will be delivered to places that fall within a 2-kilometer radius of the store. The retailer’s new format store boats of convenience as it promises to even deliver the items within 30 minutes.
It’s worth noting that a similar small-store concept in the U.S. didn’t work in favor of Walmart in 2016 and later it was compelled to shut down the so-called Walmart Express stores.
The Chinese consumer sector has evolved drastically over the years. The retail environment, be it online or offline, has shifted, plus the growing demand from tech-savvy and confident Chinese consumers are compelling many U.S. companies to target the Chinese consumers.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, retail sales of consumer goods in China jumped 10.2% year-over-year to $5.69 trillion in 2017. In online spending, the total sales rose 32.2%. The potential for retail growth in China is seemingly limitless. And Walmart has been modestly increasing its footprint in China.
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