Online retail giant Alibaba has acquired a controlling stake in leading Chinese hypermarket and supermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group. As Retail Gazette reports, the move, costing approximately US$3.6 billion, takes Ali Baba’s stake to approximately 72% and strengthens the firm’s commitment to integrating online and offline resources in China’s retail sector.
Alibaba originally acquired a stake in Sun Art in 2017, as part of a strategic alliance with Auchan Retail and Ruentex Group to digitalise and introduce New Retail solutions at Sun Art stores.
Daniel Zhang, chairman and chief executive of Alibaba Group, said this new investment represented the next step in the company’s New Retail strategy:
“The alliance we formed with Auchan Retail and Ruentex was instrumental in building a robust infrastructure to create opportunities and value in China’s retail sector. Led by chief executive Peter Huang, Sun Art has achieved impressive results in its digitalisation, and pursued promising synergies with businesses across the Alibaba digital economy. As the Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating the digitalisation of consumer lifestyles and enterprise operations, this commitment to Sun Art serves to strengthen our New Retail vision and serve more consumers with a fully integrated experience.”
As of 30 June, 2020 Sun Art operates 481 hypermarkets and three mid-size supermarkets in China and all Sun Art physical stores have been integrated into Alibaba’s Taoxianda and Tmall Supermarket platforms, providing one-hour and half-day on-demand delivery.
Photo: SUN ART Retail