Chinese e-commerce giant embarks on physical conquest of Europe in Leiden

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The Chinese e-commerce giant is coming to the Netherlands... with a brick-and-mortar store in Leiden. Under the name Ochama - to prevent any confusion with JD Sports - the world's third-largest e-tailer will open its doors on November 11th.


European launch in Leiden

In April, we already reported that started its European expansion in the Netherlands by opening a distribution centre in Venray (Limburg). But, now, there will also be a physical store on the western side of the Netherlands. The Alibaba-rival's choice was Leiden, a university town, where will sell both food and non-food items under the name of Ochama. Our colleagues from Distrifood even heard from a local Plus retailer about the scheduled opening date (November 11th) and the planned purchasing partner (Superunie). (or 'Jingdong' in full) already has a premium supermarket concept in China called 7Fresh, where the e-tailer has the opportunity to experiment to its heart's content with offline applications of e-commerce technology. For example, the chain worked on smart shopping trolleys that know their way through the supermarket, a payment app that also allows you to pay in the physical shops, and (free) home delivery of groceries purchased locally. To what extent these innovations will also be introduced in the Leiden store is as yet unknown.


Big partners

With a quarterly turnover of 35 billion euros, is no small company, but it is also a pawn in the operations of the largest companies. Google has already invested half a billion euros in the company, and Walmart is also trying to gain a foothold in the enormous Chinese market through Finally, there is a collaboration with the Japanese giant Rakuten to test drone deliveries.


Pre-pandemic, already had big European plans (with a headquarters in Germany, a logistics hub in France and a branch office in Italy), but due to a sharp drop in its stock market valuation, the chain decided first to put its Chinese operations in order.