China e-commerce firms blend online, offline retail for growth

Alibaba, JD.com say 'new retail' is in, pure e-commerce is dead

The baby products section of an RT-Mart hypermarket, backed by Alibaba, in Shanghai. Alibaba has applied the "new retail" concept to some 400 brick-and-mortar stores in Chinese cities.
The baby products section of an RT-Mart hypermarket, backed by Alibaba, in Shanghai. Alibaba has applied the "new retail" concept to some 400 brick-and-mortar stores in Chinese cities.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Pure e-commerce is a thing of the past, said Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, even as it made a record 213.5 billion yuan (S$42.3 billion) this year from the retail phenomenon it created, the Singles Day shopping festival on Nov 11.

Top executives of other e-commerce firms agree, having in recent years attempted to capture a bigger share of the retail market by combining brick-and-mortar shops with online shopping.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2018, with the headline 'China e-commerce firms blend online, offline retail for growth'. Print Edition | Subscribe