Alibaba's Hema continues aggressive growth strategy

The online giant's flagship food company is joining partners to reshape the way we shop.
Dong Jun / SHINE

A Hema Market store in Shanghai.

Alibaba’s flagship fresh food store, Hema Market, said on Thursday it had opened seven new stores in five cities recently as the e-commerce giant continues its efforts to reshape the retail industry.

The seven new stores and three renovated shops are in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Guiyang. Three in Ningbo, Hangzhou, and Guiyang are jointly operated by the Sanjiang Shopping Club and Xingli Department Store.

The company said it would continue its expansion, including in Chengdu, Wuhan and Nanjing, but gave no details.

“Hema’s goal is to broaden the “New Retail” model by working with retail partners such as Sanjiang Shopping Club and Xingli Department Store, and it allows us to form stronger cooperation to explore retail models,” said Hema chief executive officer Hou Yi.

The company also hopes to share this model with other traditional retailers to help them transform in the digital age by allowing partners to leverage its consumer data and technology capabilities.

Hema first came to the market in early 2016 and has gained popularity both as a retail space and a delivery station for consumers within three kilometers of a store.

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