Retail in Asia

In Markets

Foreign grocers struggle in fast-moving China retail market

From fast food to smartphones, from luxury goods to groceries, the way China shops – and what mainland shoppers want to buy – is changing rapidly. The changes are leaving foreign supermarket and hypermarket chains struggling to keep up by revamping store formats and selling more groceries online, retail analysts say.

On Wednesday Walmart announced a plan to turn round its declining sales in China by boosting store numbers by more than 25 percent, renovating existing shops and introducing a new online shopping app.

The US chain has been hit by food safety scandals in China, along with rapidly intensifying competition from other big hypermarket chains and from new online grocers.

But Walmart is far from the only foreign grocer that has struggled in China in recent years: Tesco, the UK chain, failed to make it alone on the mainland despite an ambitious program of building so-called "lifestyle malls" in China, anchored by a Tesco store.

(Source: CNBC)