It’s been a diffcult time in China for global retail giant Walmart recently, However, as the BBC’s Sharanjit Leyl reports in this short video, Walmart hopes to capitalise on the growing number of Chinese who do their shopping online, as the ‘bricks and mortar’ competition between foreign supermarket operators in Chinese cities becomes more intense.
Estimates suggests there are already over 100 million Chinese customers online and this is expected to grow rapidly. So Walmart has increased its stake in Yihaodian - a leading online grocer - which the FT reports has carved out an interesting position by offering a one-stop-shop service for new market entrants from the West who are finding it increasingly expensive to distribute to retail outlets in China.
Yihaodian helps thesefirms register their brands, deals with import formalities, transport, logistics and advertising. Yihaodian has already seen a steep increase over the past six months in requests from foreign companies that want to bring new products into the Chinese market. According to the FT, the online retailer saw the number of products available in its store jump to 180,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011 from just 50,000 a year earlier.