JD.com's offline retail store “7Fresh” will open its first outlet in Shanghai's Hongkou District as an important step in its nationwide expansion.
View of the first physical store of "7Fresh," the fresh food supermarket chain launched by Chinese online retailer JD.com, in Yizhuang district, Beijing, on January 8, 2018. (Photo: Shine.cn)
It will be located in the Shangbin Plaza in the Hongkou District and will be unveiled when the shopping center opens for business in mid-2019.
JD is eyeing expansion outside its headquarters in Beijing and 7Fresh, a fresh market that combines casual dining, shopping and delivery, aims to have 1,000 outlets in the next three to five years.
"JD's online fresh food business provides an advantage in terms of merchandise selection when we're expanding into offline retail," JD senior vice president Wang Xiaosong said.
It seeks to provide products that are of interest to local consumers by analyzing online shoppers’ preferences.
Combining online data and offline retailing facilities has been the latest trend for Internet companies to drive further growth when online spending might be slowing down.
JD adds that it chose to open the 7Fresh in Shanghai thanks to local residents’ purchasing power and the city’s potential to lead new commercial and retail businesses for nearby provinces and regions.
Shanghai residents’ high dispensable income and commercial infrastructure also offers development potential for JD's retailing initiative.
The company plans to take on Alibaba's fresh food store Hema Market, which was first established in Shanghai in late 2016 as a role model that combines online and offline retailing under the e-commerce giant’s new retail initiative.
Hema currently has more than 100 stores nationwide.