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Alibaba continues to revamp Sun Art hypermarkets in China, integrating digital features across RT-Mart banner stores up and down the country.
RT-Mart has finished the digital transformation of 100 stores and Alibaba plans to support transformation of 300 more outlets by end of the year. Revamped stores will be fully integrated into Alibaba’s New Retail ecosystem, and act as fulfilment centres for online orders alongside existing shopping operations. Stores will have dedicated staff picking-up products from shelves and sending the shopping bags directly to the delivery department, via overhead conveyor belts placed on the ceiling of the store.
Source: IGD research
Transformed RT-Mart stores are a demonstration of the positive impact Alibaba has brought to Sun Art. Auchan is learning from Alibaba's New Retail concept and the move will also tie-up Hema supermarkets with RT-Mart to share resources to make deliveries.
Alibaba owns a 36% stake in Sun Art, which operates the RT-Mart and Auchan hypermarket banners in China. In FY2017, Sun Art reached a total of 461 stores, covering 226 cities across 29 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. It has secured 78 sites to open new hypermarket stores over the next three years, many of which are already under construction.
Sun Art's online proposition, Feiniu, is also growing rapidly with GMV doubling in 2017 from previous year. Feiniu is now shifting its focus to B2B sales through a standalone app RT-Mart e Lu Fa. It aims to provide a strong range of products at low prices to support mom-and-pop stores in tier three and tier four cities.
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