Alibaba invests $2.9 billion in China’s top retail group to move into the offline retail market
Alibaba is one of the world’s largest ecommerce platforms right now. Now as it has set itself as a giant in the online world, its next plan is to hit retail and grocery stores in China. Now that is one big vision.
Sun Art Retail Group is China’s top hypermart operator and grocer in China. Alibaba announced that it is going to invest HK$22.4 billion ($2.87 billion) in Sun Art in a move to push itself into the offline market. China is the world’s largest market and 85% of sales are made offline there. Alibaba sees this opportunity and expanding itself in the offline department as well.
Alibaba has the vision that there could be a lot of data collected from the world’s largest market’s offline sale. It could use the collected data for future revolutions. Alibaba also wants to make the offline shopping experience more personalized just like the online shopping. It would take further steps to collect data and make this improvement in the future.
Here’s what Alibaba Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said in a statement:
“Physical stores serve an indispensable role during the consumer journey, and should be enhanced through data-driven technology and personalized services in the digital economy,”
Now 3 big groups hold shares in China’s Sun Art retail group. Alibaa now owns 36.16% shares, a French retailer Groupe Auchan holds 36.18% and the Taiwanese conglomerate Ruentex holds 4.67% shares in it. It makes Alibaba the 2nd largest shareholder in Sun Art.
Alibaba has invested $9.3 billion in physical stores since 2015. It has also launched some grocery stores and coffee shops in the past. Now it has become a part of China’s largest grocers. Sun Art has approximately 400 hypermarkets in China. Alibaba will now start purchasing and building physical infrastructure to make itself an even stronger offline retailer. Alibaba’s current net worth is $474 billion and it going to increase rapidly as Alibaba is now going to target China’s all 1.3 billion consumers.