Alibaba’s Hema Supermarket to have 100 stores in China by December

Winny Tang

The Jakarta Post

Shanghai, China

Jakarta   /  Sun, November 11, 2018  /  02:29 pm

Customers are pictured shopping at Hema Supermarket, part of Alibaba Group, in Shanghai, China. Hema is a digitized retail store that allows shoppers to buy food, eat in or order home delivery.(JP/Winny Tang)

Chinese multinational conglomerate Alibaba has reiterated its plan to merge online and offline shopping experiences to better serve customers and improve efficiency, through among other measures, the rapid expansion of its grocery store Hema Supermarkets in China.

Hema CEO Hou Yi said the group planned to open nine more stores by Dec. 12, from 91 stores it operates at present in 16 cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Ningbo, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Guiyang.

“By next month, we will have 100 Hema stores […] Hema is the first retail store where all products can be bought offline and online,” he told reporters during a media briefing in Shanghai on Saturday.

Hou Yi, said the company was currently focusing on expanding to Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities in China.  

Hema is an example of a “new retail” model that Alibaba has incubated since 2015. The store provides a retail experience that uses a technology-driven concept for in-store purchases, online delivery and in-store consumption.

Shoppers can purchase products by using the Hema mobile app, which is linked to their Alipay account. Those living within a radius of 3 kilometers from the store can also use its home delivery services. 

At Hema’s robotic restaurant in Shanghai, customers are served by robots that deliver dishes right to their table. (dwa)