Hema recently opened 10 stores in 10 Chinese cities, giving the retail supermarket chain a foothold in four new markets and expanding its network to a total of 46 stores in 13 cities across the country.
The AliBaba-owned chain now serves consumers in Xi’an, Nanjing, Wuhan and Guangzhou. The other stores are in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen, joining existing networks in those cities. Hema also has offices in Ningbo, Fuzhou and Guiyang.
Hema, which merges online and offline sales for in-store and consumer delivery services, opened its first store in early 2016. Last year, the company launched 17 additional stores and 23 have come online in the first four months of 2018.
The opening rate works out to an average of one store every six days.
“Hema is already growing fast, but we want to be even faster in 2018,” said Hou, CEO of Hema.
The CEO of Hema told Alizila that the new stores will continue to expand in both markets, both those where they already exist and new ones. In January, Alibaba announced that it would launch 30 new stores only in Beijing by the end of the year. Two other stores are planned in Xi’an.
Hema provides consumers with a mobile approach to shopping, by allowing them to use a mobile app to scan items to buy and get product information.
Another app offered by Hema allows customers to order groceries online. Each shop doubles as an order pick-up center. Accordinh to Alizila, the set-up allows Hema to deliver groceries to customers within a three-mile radius in about 30 minutes.
For mobile payments, the Alipay service is used, also available via the app.
The supermarket now offers 24-hour deliveries and Hema Cloud, which gives users access to an inventory of goods that may not be in a physical store.