Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn has finally launched its Chinese web shop on Tmall, part of Alibaba's network. Its local web shop had briefly appeared online, but was quickly pulled offline again.
No website of its own
With a web shop on Tmall, Albert Heijn has chosen not to open its own website, but to focus on Alibaba's online platform, which gives it immediate access to a huge customer base. Many of Albert Heijn's products are already readily available thanks to Taobao, Alibaba's other online marketplace, but at significantly higher prices. Pricing in Albert Heijn's web shop is also markedly higher than in the actual supermarket.
With its own web shop, Albert Heijn hopes to bring a lot of that money into the company itself and it also allows for a better control over the entire process. "This initiative fits our entrepreneurial spirit and also fits the leading role we have with our online activities", an Ahold spokesperson told Dutch paper Het Financieele Dagblad.
Albert Heijn's Tmall-based web shop had already briefly appeared online in September. Most items back then were from its own private label, from Etos or Nutrilon baby powder. That web shop was pulled offline not much later, but it seems Albert Heijn is now ready to actually start its Chinese expansion.