Chinese retail chain Freshippo has signed a strategic partnership with NZ kiwi specialist Zespri, Chilean fruit exporter Garces Fruit, and US berry marketer Driscoll’s. Freshippo operates over 300 stores across 27 cities in mainland China and is owned by retail giant Alibaba. The agreements are part of a wider set of new procurement partnerships with a total of 13 retailers, brand owners, associations and consultancies – names that include Australian supermarket chain Coles and Swiss retailer Migros.
So far this year, Freshippo has sealed strategic deals with 33 retailers around the world, including in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cyprus, Russia and Italy. The retailer says it will also set up eight procurement centres worldwide, which it will use to source products locally. The group will offer Garces, Zespri, Driscoll’s and others so-called Freshippo Solutions, in the form of assistance in bringing their products to the attention of Chinese customers.
Chief executive officer Hou Yi said: “Leveraging our top-notch technology and our highly effective supply chain, Freshippo is committed to scouting the best sources and introducing the best products from around the world to Chinese consumers at the best possible prices, fulfilling their aspirations for a better life.”
Alibaba Group announced on 18th May that Freshippo aims to complete an IPO in the next 6-12 months. Part of its commercial plan appears to be an acceleration of its import business, and it is clear fresh fruit procurement plays a major part in that development.