Starting later this month, German discounter Aldi will sell a limited range of German items like wine, snacks and cereal on Tmall Global, Chinese Alibaba’s online sales platform.
Made in Germany
From 20 March onward, Aldi will sell a limited product range, possibly even one item, to a limited audience. A month later, on 25 April, an expanded product range should become available to all. The company will sell several of its private brands on its online store on Tmall, because according to Alibaba Europe’s manager, Terry von Bibra, Chinese consumers are increasingly interested in German products. Aldi Süd handles the brand’s move to China, just like it also takes care of Aldi’s expansion in America, Australia and Great Britain.
In November 2016, it was revealed that Aldi had contacted several Australian suppliers to prepare its Chinese online sales. This begs the question how German the items put on sale in China will actually be.
Other retailers have made similar moves through Tmall to reach the Chinese consumer. In 2015, Amazon opened its own web shop on Tmall, even though Alibaba is its largest competitor worldwide. Even Ahold Delhaize has experimented with Dutch products on Tmall for about a year, but pulled the plug on the project earlier this year. Ahold Delhaize said it had learned enough from the project.