Sun Art partners with Alibaba’s Shanghai Hema

Hong Kong-based retail group and hypermarkets operator Sun Art has announced a partnership with Shanghai Hema effective this week.
Sun Art’s partly owned subsidiary Shanghai Runhe’s has entered into agreements with Shanghai Hema, a subsidiary of Alibaba, covering the Hainan and Northeast China regions.  
Shanghai Runhe will adopt the Hema Fresh business model across Hema stores in the regions, integrating corresponding software systems in-store, with Shanghai Hema supplying necessary software maintenance support. It will also take over delivery services to distribute products sold via the Hema app.
Hema Fresh is Shanghai Hema’s proprietary grocery retail format, demonstrating the convergence of online and offline activities by using retail stores to warehouse and fulfill online orders, in addition to serving customers who shop in-store.
Information provided by Shanghai Hema claimed its business model can deliver online orders within 30 minutes to customers within a 3km radius of a Hema store, and offers a mobile app that allows consumers to research products and shop while browsing the store. Shanghai Hema recently started a 24-hour delivery service in Shanghai and Beijing offering an expanding selection of products.
As a part of the agreement, Shanghai Runhe will be accepting Alipay transactions for sales at Hema stores within the operating territories.
The company has endeavoured to pursue its ongoing strategy to utilise the internet technologies and Taobao traffic offered through Shanghai Hema’s Hema Fresh business to increase the efficiency of the traditional hypermarket and supermarket stores it operates to expand the retail channels of fresh products traditionally offered in the stores operated by the group. Taobao China holds approximately 20.98 per cent of Sun Art’s shares.
“The company believes that the alliance and cooperation with Shanghai Hema, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Alibaba Holding, will enable the group’s activities to benefit from Alibaba Group’s digital ecosystem,” the company sid in a stock exchange filing.
“In particular, the Hema Business Cooperation Agreements will allow the group to digitalise and introduce new retail solutions for fresh products through the ‘Hema Fresh’ business model.”

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