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Alibaba Group To Open Its First Brick-And-Mortar Mall



The five-story shopping center is part of the e-commerce giant’s push into real-world retail.
Alibaba Office and Logo

Alibaba, the owner of China’s largest online sales platform, is reportedly building its mall in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, where located companies headquarter.

The mall has been constructed on a 40,000-square-meter plot of land and is scheduled to open in April, according to linkshop.com. Construction crews are completing up work on the building’s interior.

This year indicated the start of Alibaba Group “new retail” era — a phrase the firm has seeded in its announcements. In essence, it is a strategy to combine offline, online, logistics and data units over a single value chain, Alibaba founder Jack Ma stated.

Under the initiative, Alibaba is rolling fast into offline spaces to help remake regular retailing, including starting unmanned convenience stores and delivering big data technology to 1 million mom-and-pop shops. Presently, it’s developing its first shopping center.

Alibaba will take its “new retail technologies” to More Mall, including high-tech makeup-testing mirrors and virtual fitting cabins, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter. Alibaba unveiled these technologies in June in what it called a “New Retail Interactive Store,” in a shopping center in Hangzhou.

More Mall will present some brands that are on sale on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Taobao, as well as many well-known retail brands. It will also introduce Alibaba’s grocery store, named Hema. It will be the first Hema flagship store in Hangzhou.

Jack Ma in Hema store

Launched in 2015, Hema was part of Alibaba’s new retail strategy to improve traditional supermarkets. With a vision to mix online and offline shopping experiences, Hema rolled out an app that allows users to order groceries for delivery on their cell phone and use Alibaba-affiliated online payment platform Alipay to make purchases. Hema also has brick-and-mortar stores just like typical convenience stores, which provide consumers with hand-select food and dine inside.

“Alibaba believes the future of New Retail will be a harmonious integration of online and offline,” told Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, in a statement.


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