Chemist Warehouse signs up for another two years with Tmall Global

Australian retail chain Chemist Warehouse is hoping to grow its market share in China and Southeast Asia by renewing its strategic partnership with Tmall Global for another two years.

As part of the new deal, Chemist Warehouse will add more stores across Alibaba’s e-commerce marketplace, including one on its recently acquired cross-border marketplace Kaola, and three multi-brand stores on Tmall Global under My Chemist, My Beauty Spot and Discount Vitamin Warehouse.

The retailer will also open a store on Alibaba’s Lazada marketplace to extend its reach to consumers in Malaysia and Singapore.

“Since the previous deal signed two years ago, we have worked in partnership with the company to successfully grow their brand awareness in China. As Chemist Warehouse’s partnership with Alibaba matures, today’s agreement will see the company open additional stores and work with us on a range of new and exciting marketing initiatives,” Maggie Zhou, managing director of Alibaba Group in Australia and New Zealand said.

Mena Pannia, Nancy Jian, Maggie Zhou and Scott Ni.

The agreement will also focus on providing easier market access and support for a number of smaller and medium brands.

Chemist Warehouse first collaborated with Alibaba’s cross-border business-to-consumer marketplace in 2015 and is now the number one cross-border store on the site.

Nancy Jian, chief executive of Chemist Warehouse China told Inside FMCG on Tuesday that year-on-year sales for the Chemist Warehouse Tmall business is growing at 52 per cent with the main growth coming from beauty and the ‘mum and bubs’ category.

“We are very proud to build a group alliance on TMG platform. We are also helping several brands managing their flagship stores on TMG platform. By the end of this month, we will also be opening our first flagship store outside of TMG platform, but still under Alibaba group, on Kaola platform. I believe Chemist Warehouse flagship store will be the first brand expanding from TMG to Kaola this year since the integration,” Jian told Inside FMCG.

“The exciting part for us is to continue growing our cross border business, not only in China, but hopefully soon in South East Asia. We are also opening our first brick & mortar store in China, it is a O2O self pick up store where consumers can actually shop in the store like a real Chemist Warehouse shopping experience.”

The retailer then hopes to replicate this pilot store in other cities around China once it gets the formula right. Jian said the retailer wants to continue becoming the “easier gateway for brands to get into China”.

“Just like in Australia, we are here to make healthcare more affordable. In China, we would like to offer the same without compromising the service and quality,” she said.

Jian said the key to Chemist Warehouse’s success is “quality, and authentic cross border products” with affordable pricing.

She said the biggest brands now on Chemist Warehouse platforms are Bio Island, Swisse, Eaoron, Cenovis, Real Paw Paw,. spanning mum and bubs, vitamins, and skincare.

In 2015, having just opened the first store on Tmall Global, Chemist Warehouse became the first cross-border retailer in the world to achieve 10m RMB (AUD2.1m) in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) during Alibaba’s annual 11:11 Global Shopping Festival. The store currently stocks more than 200 brands and over 3200 Stock Keeping Units (SKUs).

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