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Wal-Mart opens JD.com store, joining China’s online shopping frenzy ahead of Singles’ Day

JD Worldwide promises two-hour delivery of imported goods to any customer living within miles of Wal-Mart’s 20 stores in China

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 October, 2016, 8:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 October, 2016, 11:19pm

Wal-Mart Stores Inc has opened a store on JD.com’s online shopping platform to deliver imported goods to mainland China’s consumers, three weeks before Alibaba Group kicks off the largest 24-hour online shopping extravaganza on the planet.

JD Worldwide’s new Wal-Mart store front, launched Thursday in Beijing, promises two-hour delivery to shoppers who live within miles of 20 Wal-Mart stores around China, with the number of outlets expected to double by the end of 2016, according to a JD.com announcement.

Shoppers can buy a range of imported products, ranging from American vitamins to Japanese hand cream, the statement said.

Sam’s Club, the wholesale division of Wal-Mart, also opened a flagship store on JD.com, promising same-day and next-day delivery services.

Wal-Mart bought 5.9 per cent of JD.com in June, agreeing to ally itself with China’s second-largest e-commerce operator to reshape its retail business in the country to catch up with the increasing trend of consumers doing most of their shopping online. Under a pilot project, JD.com said it would explore the feasibility of delivering products using drones for customers in remote areas.

The US retailer raised its stakes in JD.com to 10.8 per cent this month.

Alibaba, operator of the world’s largest online shopping platform and owner of the South China Morning Post, will host its Singles’ Day on November 11, a 24-hour shopping festival that’s expected to surpass last year’s tally of US$14.3 billion in transactions.

In allying with Wal-Mart, JD.com has set its sights on competing with Single’s Day.

“The efforts, which are part of the original strategic alliance announced in June, are officially launching during the run up to Singles Day on November 11,” JD.com said in its statement.

Competition and promotions are heating up leading up to November 11, as the annual growth in China’s retail sales tapers.

“Singles Day has become a big event for every consumer in China,” said Analysys International’s analyst Yang Yaqiong. “Not only online retail platforms, even if they are offline brick-and-mortar stores, they have to participate in this shopping spree to boost sales.”

“For large e-commerce platforms, offering simply discounted products may not be enough, they have to provide more high-quality products and better services to attract consumers,” she added.

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