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Waitrose China launches via Alibaba

Upmarket British grocery chain Waitrose has broken new ground in a deal with online marketplace Alibaba, opening the doors for it to export to China.

Waitrose China will offer products and ranges to buyers across the mainland exclusively through the Royal Mail Store on Tmall Global, Alibaba Group’s online marketplace. Waitrose arranged the deal through Avenue51, which runs Royal Mail’s store on the platform.

Royal Mail promotes British companies, and Waitrose will be one of its highest-profile brands with a dedicated page on its online store. There will be 30 products initially, including biscuits, cereals, coffee, nuts and tea, plus beauty, baby and organic ranges.

“The potential for Waitrose in China is huge, and though this is a relatively modest start it’s our ambition to see it become our biggest international business in the next three to five years,” says Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson.

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