Alibaba’s Hema Supermarket targets rapid expansion

JP Winny Tang HemaChina’s e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Hema Supermarket chain is expanding its stores to 100 by next month.

Hema is a digitised grocery store in China that allows shoppers to purchase food, eat at the store or order food delivery, using the Hema mobile app.

“By next month, we will have 100 Hema stores,” said Hema CEO Hou Yi. “Hema is the first retail store where all products can be bought offline and online.”

Jakarta Post reported that Yi said it plans to open nine more stores by December 12, in 16 cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Ningbo, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Guiyang. Alibaba’s grocery owned store currently operates 91 stores and is targeting Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities.

This year, Hema also launched a robotic restaurant in Shanghai. Customers experience robots delivering dishes right to their table. It also has a Hema mobile app that scan a food’s QR code to provide provenance details.

Alibaba is continuously innovating with AI and robots for its retail and FMCG business to provide new experiences to its consumers.

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