American retail chain Walmart is expanding in China with a smaller version of its well-known hypermarket. The high-tech supermarket explicitly targets the growing population of online shoppers in China by offering payments through mobile application WeChat.
Small but high-tech
Walmart Inc is launching a smaller sized store concept in China in response to the rapidly evolving shopping habits of the Chinese: shopping with mobile devices gains popularity in the country and major players such as Alibaba and Tencent are making strides towards a multichannel approach, to the detriment of more traditional retailers such as Walmart.
The store concept developed by American Walmart cuts back on size (although by how much is not yet known), but will still offer some 8,000 products in-store, ranging from local favorites such as stir-fried clams to fresh fruit. Most of the products are also available at Walmart's online shop at the Chinese online marketplace JD.com. Items ordered through this online platform can be delivered within a 2 kilometer radius from the stores as quickly as 29 minutes, says Walmart.
By letting shoppers choose for the popular app WeChat as a payment method, Walmart also improves convenience at its supermarkets. With this store concept, developed especially for the Chinese market, Walmart hopes to withstand competition from other major retailers such as Amazon and Alibaba and to boost its online turnover, which still remains below analysts’ expectations.