Alibaba’s Hema supermarket is to add 30 locations in Beijing by the end of the year, expanding its presence in the Chinese capital from 5 to 35 stores.
Currently, nearly 1.5 million Beijing residents live within a 3km radius of a Hema store, meaning they can have their groceries delivered to their doors as quickly as 30 minutes after ordering. “As we enter into 2018, we are proud to announce that Hema has found the Sunflower Bible [a fictional book containing treasured secrets of martial arts] of New Retail, as we rapidly expand nationally and globally,” says Yi Hou, CEO at Hema.
The city also serves as the first testing ground for Alibaba Group’s “3km ideal living community” concept, a collaboration with its affiliates, including Hema, the B2C e-commerce site Tmall, bike-sharing platform Ofo and mapping and navigation services provider Autonavi, to create communities with convenient, online-offline services, driven by the Chinese e-commerce giant’s technology and infrastructure.
The Beijing expansion more than doubles its presence. There are currently 25 stores in seven Chinese cities, including 14 in Shanghai, five in Beijing, two in Ningpo, and one each in Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Suzhou, and the Southwest city of Guiyang.