Walmart opens smart ‘small retail’ store in Shenzhen

02/04/2018

Walmart ditches ‘big box’ format in Shenzhen store for smaller, smarter, convenience store

 

The ways that big companies are revolutionizing retail seem to be multiplying – from O2O to Alibaba’s Hema smart supermarket, hi-tech is becoming central to the consumer experience. Now American big box store Walmart is jumping into the new retail pool with a smaller retail format that aims to compete with online retailers, Reuters reported.

The new Shenzhen store will stock 8,000 items that are also available for purchase on Walmart’s Chinese portal on e-commerce platform JD.com, of which Walmart owns a share.

Similar to Hong Kong drugstore Watsons’ delivery scheme, items purchased can be delivered to customers within a two-kilometer radius in as little as thirty minutes, Walmart stated.

 

Convenience Stores continue to outpace other retail formats in China by 3.5%

 

So what makes Walmart’s new store different than it’s older retail approach? The store will stock fewer items to more readily address consumers’ needs and satisfy convenience. According to a report released by Fung Business Intelligence, the growth momentum of convenience stores (CVS) is expected to continue, as the small retail format continues to gain in popularity in China’s retail market.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, the YoY growth of key retailers in the CVS and shopping mall sector reached 7.7% and 7.4% respectively in 2016, faster than the average growth of key retailers in other retail formats of 4%.

Shoppers will be able to use a WeChat mini program as they shop to tally their cart, and may check out with WeChat pay for a faster purchase experience. Walmart’s new Shenzhen location comes just days after the retailer signed a deal with Tencent Holdings Ltd to exclusively use WeChat Pay in all of its Western China locations, a decisive blow to Alipay.

In an email to Reuters, a Walmart spokesperson said, “In the future, Walmart will cooperate with more partners to provide payment solutions with more convenience and benefits.”

 

 

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