You thought offline shopping was dead? Think again–good old-fashioned brick and mortar stores have been attracting investment, the latest coming from Meituan-Dianping. The Tencent-backed on-demand services provider is planning to invest into so called “new retail”, Reuters is reporting.

The term, coined by Jack Ma, refers to a new format where internet technology connects and optimizes offline outlets, online stores, and the overall supply chain. Some of the goals for new retail include intelligent self-service, anytime anywhere access, and high efficiency.

Brick and mortar stores still make up over 80 percent of total retail sales in China. Alibaba and JD have both been investing in the offline retail market, with many projects covering un-tapped rural areas.

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Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.