The trend of offline expansion have caught on among e-commerce firms, including Amazon and Alibaba in China.
JD.com, China’s second largest e-commerce platform, has joined the ranks and opened three offline stores, Chinese media Jiemian reported on Tuesday.
JD’s offline store measures about 20 square meters with three to four staff providing assistance to customers. It is home to a variety of items sold on its website, with consumer electronics – which JD.com is known for – making up the majority of items in the store.
In addition, the store showcases foreign brand cosmetics and healthcare products, which are also major components for the e-commerce platform. Another category available for consumers is JD.com gifts cards.
The offline store, which does not resemble a traditional physical store, offers QR codes for consumers to scan and purchase the items online.
So far, JD.com has three offline stores which are all located inside Yonghui Superstores. The stores are located in central Beijing, the southeastern suburb of Beijing, and Chongqing.
In August 2015, JD.com purchased a 10 percent stake in Yonghui Superstores in a deal worth RMB 4.31 billion (USD 626 million). Along with the signed deal, JD.com said they will cooperate with Yonghui Superstores on procurement, storage, and logistics, as well as online-to-offline services.
JD.com opened different offline stores in third and fourth tier Chinese cities. Unlike the offline stores in Beijing and Chongqing targeting buyers, stores in third and fourth tier cities mainly offer distribution, delivery, and after-sales maintenance services for home appliances.
Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company and JD.com’s competitor, announced its strategic partnership with Shanghai-based Bailian Group, the largest state-owned brick-and-mortar retailer, in an effort to further expand its offline presence.
(Top photo from Pixabay.com)