China Doesn't Want to Go to the Store for Groceries, Either

Issue 12-04-17   |   Reviewer:   Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.


In the battle for online grocery shopping and delivery, Wal-Mart is working on a business model for the Chinese market.

At 140 current stores, it has set up a "dark store" in a separate area where workers grab printouts of the online orders, retrieve the items for an order, and then hit a button to summon independent contractors for delivery. The online inventory in each store is customized for the local area.

By 2018, the one-hour delivery service will be available from 161 Wal-Mart supermarkets. The company also has created mini-warehouses, or dark stores that are not open to consumers, and is introducing free-standing dark stores that may be located farther than 3km from a Wal-Mart supermarket. That will widen the circle of customers who can get their groceries within an hour.

This online business is contributing to Wal-Mart's overall 4 percent net-sales growth rate in China.

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