Suning makes new acquisition to boost retail channels
Suning.com has signed an agreement to acquire Wanda Department Store in order to merge the retailer's presence with Wanda's department store assets in a bid to drive growth through new retail channels.
A total of 37 Wanda department stores will be merged with Suning's existing offerings, covering formats such as shopping centers as well as convenience stores and online platforms.
The deal value was not disclosed immediately.
Suning intends to reshape the department stores' digital offerings and supply chain to allow offline shopping spaces to become more competitive and to stay closer to shoppers.
This would also complement Suning's own offline retail network and on-demand delivery service.
Suning Group President Zhang Jindong has been reiterating the importance of new technologies to shape the future development of retail business.
Zhang told an internal meeting on the first working day after the Chinese New Year holiday that the company should combine resources at all levels to put customer demand at the center.
According to the new year remarks in an email statement, Zhang noted that the company is also aiming to provide its logistics and retail capabilities to support smaller business and rural development.
Integration between retailers has been a big trend, with Alibaba acquiring Hangzhou-headquartered InTime Retail Group and Tencent's investment in a number of supermarket chain stores.
Wanda Group last year denied reports it is selling the department store business.
At its peak, Wanda had more than 100 department stores around the country as one of the four core industry sectors besides its property development, entertainment and hotelier sectors.
Various efforts have been made by department store operators through the upgrade of store facilities, the refinement of merchandise and services, supply chain optimization and restructuring of business models.
Retail sales of major domestic department stores rose 3.2 percent from a year ago in 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, which was slower than the 9.0 percent annual growth for the overall retail market.