Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba acquired a 36 % stake in supermarket firm Sun Art Retail Group, China’s second largest supermarket chain with 450 supermarkets. French retailer Auchan is the group’s largest shareholder.
2.5 billion euro
French Auchan has a 36.2 % stake in Sun Art Retail. Alibaba is the second largest shareholder now and Taiwanese Ruentex Group is third, at a large distance, with 5 %.
Thanks to Alibaba’s 22.4 billion Hong Kong dollar (2.5 billion euro) investment, the company will look at additional online opportunities according to De Tijd. It is also the fastest way for Alibaba to expand its hold on the food industry and to introduce its own payment service, Alipay, to even more people…
It is not the first time Alibaba has invested in brick & mortar stores: it also owns shares of Intime Retail and Sanjiang Shopping Club. It also owns the Hema supermarket chain, which often serves as its testing ground for new technological innovations.
Alibaba and its major American competitor Amazon are both going the same route. After obtaining an enormous share of its local online market, they are now investing more in offline opportunities. For instance, Amazon acquired the Whole Foods supermarket chain in the summer.