Chinese retailer Suning.com, owner of an 80% stake in Carrefour’s Chinese business, is planning to open more than 200 Suning stores in the grocery retailer locations across China on September 28.
Why it matters: Suning is making its first major strategic push integrating the French supermarket chain into its ecosystem, a challenge considering Carrefour China’s massive size and loss-making financials.
- Suning has signed an agreement with Carrefour to buy an 80% equity interest in the French retailer’s China business in June. The deal received a green light from the government in August.
- Suning’s acquisition of Carrefour effectively ended the supermarket’s partnership with rival electronics retailer Gome. Carrefour and Gome had announced in April that the duo would open 200 in-store Gome shops by July.
- Carrefour China operates 210 hypermarkets and 24 convenience stores across the country.
“Suning’s in-Carrefour stores will be tailor-made based on each store’s location and consumer profiles.”
—a Suning.com executive to Chinese media
Details: The in-store Suning shops will sell 3C products, which range from home appliances to smartphones.
- Customers who buy products from in-store Suning shops will enjoy the same customer service as those who purchase from Suning’s own stores, the company said.
- TechNode’s visit to a Shanghai Carrefour location revealed an electronics and home appliance zone still under construction, though posters featuring Suning and Carrefour logos were up throughout the store. The space for the new in-store Suning shop was previously a Gome shop.
Context: Suning has been pushing its offline expansion to various segments including convenience stores, supermarkets, and department stores.
- Opening in-supermarket stores is a popular strategy for online platforms to build their offline presence. In addition to Carrefour, Suning also operates such outlets in Alibaba-backed supermarket chain RT-Mart.
- The store-in-store’s smaller footprint mean that the product assortment and marketing initiatives are more flexible that Suning’s full-sized locations, and must run in partnership with each individual supermarket.