CapitaLand announced yesterday a strategic alliance with China's Alibaba, Asia's largest e-commerce company, with agreements to manage its new Shanghai headquarters and launch an online mall on Lazada Singapore.
Alibaba is Lazada Group's biggest shareholder, having invested over US$2 billion (S$2.72 billion) for an 83 per cent stake in South-east Asia's largest e-commerce platform.
In China, CapitaLand will oversee the pre-opening and management of the shopping podium and one of four office towers in Alibaba Shanghai Centre, which has a total gross floor area, excluding carpark, of about 80,000 sq m. The four office towers occupy about 60,000 sq m. The four-storey shopping podium takes up about 20,000 sq m.
Said Mr Wang Tao, head of intelligent building at Alibaba Group: "Shanghai is one of the important platforms to Alibaba and our new headquarters here will serve as our strategic nerve centre for rolling out our new retail strategy.
"We believe our collaboration will chart new frontiers in integrating online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain to meet the needs of consumers. We look forward to deepening our collaboration with CapitaLand in the future."
CapitaLand Mall Asia chief executive Jason Leow said: "CapitaLand is a firm advocate of retail innovation and we champion the reinvention of retail space to keep abreast of changing consumer habits.
"For example, we are taking the opportunity of redeveloping Funan in Singapore to leapfrog into the future and envision how a shopping mall of the future will look like. In Qingdao, China, we have launched the group's first smart mall, CapitaMall Xinduxin, which offers integrated offline and online experiences through CapitaStar, the group's digital platform."
In Singapore, CapitaLand has signed an agreement to launch an exclusive shop-in-shop aggregating the offerings of retailers in its Singapore malls on Lazada.sg by the end of this year. To facilitate an offline and online experience, shoppers who patronise the CapitaLand official store on Lazada.sg will have the option to collect their purchases in CapitaLand malls. In doing so, they will be rewarded with membership points in the CapitaStar programme.
To start with, CapitaLand will roll out two unmanned click-and-collect lounges at Plaza Singapura and Bugis+ for shoppers to collect and return their parcels. The lounges will also feature fitting rooms and a product-testing bench.
Said Lazada Singapore chief executive Alexis Lanternier: "Lazada entered Singapore just three years ago and today the country is one of our fastest-growing markets in South-east Asia."
CapitaLand and Lazada said they will allocate resources to onboard retailers and promote the platform to shoppers, with the intention of rapidly scaling up the initiative in the next two years.
CapitaLand president and group chief executive Lim Ming Yan said: "Even as new technologies disrupt traditional business models, real estate remains an important part of a holistic customer journey, as affirmed by leading digital players who are seeking to gain a foothold in the physical space."
CapitaLand shares closed up one cent at $3.74.