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Alibaba launches hypermarket chain Store X targeting affluent families

Alibaba Group is rolling out a members-only hypermarket chain ‘Store X’ to target affluent families in China, expanding the chain’s footprint with eight new stores this year. 

Store X is the latest big-box format at Alibaba’s grocery retailer Freshippo. Its scale is roughly twice the size of a regular Freshippo store and it sells organic products sourced directly from farms by working with Tmall and Taobao. 

The company’s own-brand products make up more than 40 per cent of the store’s offering, ranging from general merchandise and fresh produce to premium imports. 

The store also houses a showroom for imported offerings where customers can place orders by scanning the product’s QR code through the Freshippo app and pay online. Purchases will clear customs and be available for pick up via Alibaba’s smart lockers within 30 minutes.

“Store X offers a membership-driven experience on top of existing Freshippo supermarkets,” said Hou Yi, CEO of Freshippo. “The combination of different store formats can complement one another to serve a city’s fast-moving and upgraded consumption needs.”

Located in Shanghai, the first Store X outlet turned profitable within two months of opening. Members spend an average of US$152 per visit to a Store X, outpacing purchases at a conventional store, according to Freshippo. 

With two stores opened last week, Alibaba said it will open eight more Store X locations this year, increasing its store number to 11. 

“Built on top of the Freshippo app, Store X targets a group of highly affluent and young shoppers who are digitally savvy and are willing to spend more for better services and shopping experiences,” said Jiong-Jiong Yu, a senior retail analyst at UK-based research firm IGD.

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