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US retail giant Walmart launches flagship online store on JD.com

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Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is looking to provide same- and next-day deliveries to more than 600 million mainland Chinese consumers, with the opening of its own flagship online store on JD.com on Thursday.

The New York-listed company, which has 433 total bricks-and-mortar retail sites on the mainland as of October last year, said it examined the shopping habits of Chinese customers and then handpicked more than 1,700 of the most-purchased items to offer on Walmart’s flagship online store.

SEE ALSO: Walmart merges tech teams to better connect online and stores

It assured mainland customers they would be buying only authentic, quality goods – with categories including food, consumables, general merchandise, toys and apparel – since all items are sourced through the same supply chain system that Walmart China’s network of stores use.

Walmart made a US$50 million investment last October in New Dada, the joint venture between JD.com and delivery specialist Dada that operates the mainland’s largest on-demand logistics and online-to-offline grocery platform.

That investment was an extension of Walmart’s broader agreement with JD.com and cooperation with New Dada, which includes using New Dada’s network to offer customers two-hour delivery on groceries ordered from Walmart stores through the JD Daojia Dada mobile app.

SEE ALSO: Wal-Mart invests US$50 million in China’s New Dada

Customers in many first- and second-tier cities on the mainland who order before 11am will receive their packages the same day, delivered by JD.com employees to their door, according to Walmart.

It said more customers outside of those cities will be able to enjoy same-day delivery service in future, in line with JD.com’s same- and next-day delivery network that covers more than 600 million of the country’s population.

By the end of March, New Dada had partnered with 80 Walmart stores and 165 Yonghui Superstores to provide consumers with one-hour home delivery of groceries ordered through the JD Daojia Dada app. JD.com invested 4.3 billion yuan (US$624 million) to acquire a 10 per cent stake in Fuzhou-based Yonghui in 2015.

The deeper alliance between Walmart and JD.com could help bolster e-commerce spending on the mainland, already the world’s largest online retail market.

SEE ALSO: Walmart increases stake in JD.com on Asia appeal

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The average online shopper in the country is forecast to spend 12,198 yuan online this year, a 7 per cent increase over last year, according to iResearch.

JD.com posted total revenue of US$28 billion last year, compared with rival Alibaba Group’s turnover of US$22.9 billion in the 12 months ended March 31.

Mainland China is forecast to become the first market to reach US$1 trillion in total online retail sales by 2020, driven by a rise in mobile e-commerce transactions, according to Forrester Research.

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