Alibaba goes offline with brick-and-mortar store in Tianjin
Updated: 2016-01-12 10:24
TIANJIN -- Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has opened a store in the north China port city of Tianjin to lure buyers craving for imported products.
The company has set up its own brick-and mortar shop to bring overseas products, from snacks to cosmetics, closer to consumers at home.
Alibaba and arch-rival JD.com both launched online marketplaces over the past two years selling only imported products to court savvy Chinese online shoppers who prize quality over price.
The Alibaba store is part of a 20,000-square meter retail outlet, which consists of several shopping arcades, in Yujiapu financial district of Tianjin Free Trade Zone.
To expand the brick-and-mortar store's outreach in the region, Alibaba has chartered two train rides during peak hours each day between Beijing and the Tianjin FTZ. Those who take the train can browse product catalogs and place orders during the trip.
A growing number of foreign retailers and merchants have been signing up on Alibaba and JD.com's online marketplaces, which help them expand exposure to Chinese consumers without having to establish a physical foothold in the country.
Alibaba said around 80 percent of its merchants on the online marketplace selling imported products that don't have a physical presence in China.
Chinese tourists frequently go on shopping sprees when they travel to other countries. Authorities have been seeking ways to bring those buying binges back home to assist an ongoing economic rebalancing toward consumption.