Hema now delivering around clock

Alibaba’s Hema supermarkets have launched 24-hour delivery services in a move to bolster the brand’s “New Retail” services.

Initially the round-the-clock service is limited to the 25 Hema stores in Beijing and Shanghai. Consumers who live within 3km of a Hema store will be able to shop via the mobile app and order items for delivery between 10pm and 7am, when the bricks-and-mortar store is closed.

Most items in store can be delivered with the exception of some fresh produce. Cooked meals will be available for delivery until 1am.

“We found that New Retail doesn’t only merge online with offline, but also connects day and night,” says Hema chief executive Hou Yi. “There are definitely consumer demands that are specific to night time.”

More than 80 million Taobao and T-mall users visit the sites between midnight and 4am, says Alibaba.

Meanwhile, Alibaba has taken full ownership of the Ele.me online delivery service.

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