Monday, 20 November 2017

Alibaba buys 36% stake in China's largest hypermarket operator

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is pushing further into bricks and mortar retailing by buying a 36% stake in China's largest hypermarket operator.

A unit of Alibaba will pay $2.9bn (£2.2bn) for both direct and indirect holdings in Sun Art, which operates more than 400 stores across China.

The purchase gives Alibaba a leg up in the lucrative grocery sector.

US rival Amazon paid nearly $14bn for upmarket grocery chain Whole Foods earlier this year, in a similar foray.

Alibaba has been looking to integrate online and offline shopping without having to build its own physical stores.
The online giant has invested more than $9.3bn in bricks and mortar stores since 2015, according to Reuters.

Alibaba chief executive Daniel Zhang said: "Physical stores serve an indispensable role during the consumer journey, and should be enhanced through data-driven technology and personalised services in the digital economy."

BBC     News.

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