Walmart has opened a physical grocery store in China and will also be selling its wares through a branded online store on JD.com as it looks to undermine Alibaba’s hegemony over the China’s ecommerce market.
JD.com – a slice of which is owned by Walmart – is already selling Chinese-made, US Walmart branded electronics goods to Chinese shoppers, as well as setting up JD.com electronics ‘showrooms’ in Walmart stores across China to sell white and consumer electronics goods. Now the relationship is being switched around to sell groceries in a high tech store.
Starting in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, 8000 items from fresh fruit to seafood will not only now be stocked in stores, but will also be available to buy via JD.com online. And shoppers living within 3km of the store will get their online-ordered goods delivered in 30 minutes.
Not only this, but shoppers will also be able to order and pay for the goods to be delivered using a WeChat app that will also allow shoppers in store to also skip checkout queues.
The move steps up pressure in China on Alibaba and is a warning shot across the bows of Amazon as JD and Walmart seek to find a way through today’s vexing retail headache of how best to combine online and instore retail and drive shoppers towards checkout free sales.
The move also marks Walmart’s move into the Chinese market, which it intends to attack using high-tech next generation stores and online partnerships like this with JD.com.