What happened: JD.com is following the footsteps of its rival Alibaba with a plan to open 1000 offline stores. JD started its 7Fresh store brand selling fresh produce at the beginning of this year. 7Fresh will feature smart shopping carts, “magic mirrors” that display information about products, face recognition, and speedy delivery.
Why it’s important: JD has been approaching “new retail” from a different angle: in August, Walmart and JD.com announced a $500 million investment in online grocery delivery Dada-JD Daojia. It seems that JD decided to go into offline stores more vigorously only after Alibaba’s own offline store Hema showed positive results. On September 18, Hema released its operation data for the first time. Its 64 offline stores across China have served over 10 million consumers and reached RMB 800,000 daily revenue per store. However, not much information was given on profitability. Meanwhile, even low-end e-commerce platform Pinduoduo is investing into grocery delivery.