Briefing: Online retailer Suning to open 15,000 offline stores in 2019

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苏宁张近东宣布2019年开店目标15000家,重新定义前中后台 – Jiemian

What happened: Chinese online retailer is planning to open 15,000 offline stores in 2019. It is also promoting smart retail solutions in its massive sales networks across 350 domestic cities. Zhang Jindong, chairman of the Suning Group, described its grocery stores as the pathfinder in the company’s “Great Development” plan, aiming to drive businesses in Chinese neighborhoods and rural markets.

Why it’s important: Founded by Zhang Jindong and his elder brother in 1990, Suning is China’s largest omnichannel retailer with more than 10,000 offline stores nationwide, including shopping centers, consumer electronics outlets, and community stores. According to Chinese media, e-commerce giant Alibaba held a 20% stake in Suning in 2016. It later helped Suning-affiliate Suning Sports complete a $600 million round of fundraising in June 2018. Partnering with Chinese real-estate developers such as Evergrande and Wanda, the retail giant seeks to expand its businesses in numerous lower-tier Chinese cities.