(Source: Inside Retail Asia | September 7, 2017)
Alibaba, which runs China’s largest online sales platform, is building a five-storey More Mall at its Hangzhou headquarters.
Scheduled to open in April, the Alibaba mall is on a 40,000sqm plot of land. Construction crews are now finishing up work on the building’s interior.
It is part of the Alibaba Group Holding’s “new retail” strategy, which aims to blend online, offline, logistics and data units across a single value chain, according to Alibaba founder Jack Ma. Under the initiative, Alibaba is moving into offline spaces as it remodels traditional retailing. It has already launched unmanned convenience stores and introduced big-data technology to a million small retailers.
The first Alibaba mall will offer its new retail technologies including high-tech makeup-testing mirrors and virtual fitting rooms – unveiled in June in its New Retail Interactive Store in a Hangzhou shopping mall.
More Mall will feature brands being sold on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Taobao, as well as conventional retail brands. It will also feature the flagship for Alibaba’s grocery store Hema, which was introduced in 2015 as part of a strategy to revive traditional supermarkets. Hema rolled out an app so users can order groceries for delivery and pay using Alibaba-affiliated online-payment platform Alipay.
Hema also has brick-and-mortar stores where customers can choose food and dine on site.
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