Alibaba Opens Additional 30 Hema Stores in Beijing
Hema Xiansheng supermarket, Alibaba’s online-to-offline grocery business, plans to open 30 stores this year, nearly doubling its physical presence in China.
Hema Xiansheng supermarket, Alibaba's online-to-offline grocery business, announced it will open 30 physical stores in 2018, expanding its presence in Beijing districts, such as Xizhimen, Guanganmen, and Shuangjing.
Hema Xiansheng was launched by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) in 2015 as the pilot grocery store, pioneering its online-to-offline fresh food market. The initiative aligns with Alibaba's ambition to implement its "New Retail" strategy of combining online and offline stores by digitizing every product. Using the Hema app and Alipay digital wallet, customers can scan barcodes for product information and make purchases.
Thanks to the additional 30 stores, customers in Beijing's urban districts are expected to have their orders delivered to a location within a radius of 3 kilometers from Hema stores in 30 minutes.
To date, Alibaba has launched five Hema stores in Beijing and a total of 20 in other Chinese cities.
"We are proud to announce that Hema has discovered an exclusive means of 'new retail' at the beginning of the new year and is expanding quickly in China and outside the world," said Hou Yi, CEO of Hema.
JD.Com, Inc. (Nasdaq: JD), Alibaba's rival in China, also started operating its first fresh food supermarket 7Fresh at the end of last week.
Shares of Alibaba closed at $190.33 on Monday, down 0.19 percent.