Retail in Asia

In Trends

Alibaba takes Easyhome stake

Alibaba Lianhua Supermarkets e-commerce - retail in asia

Alibaba Holdings Group has acquired fellow Chinese retailer, Beijing Easyhome Furnishing China Store Group, as it pushes into the offline retail landscape even more in China.

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The leading Chinese e-commerce and technology company announced it has invested some 5.45 billion renminbi ($867 million) into the Beijing-based furniture company, which operates more than 220 stores under the name Easyhome, for a 15% stake in the company.

Founded in 1999, Easyhome is the second largest home improvement supplies and furniture chain operator in China. As of December last year, it had recorded sales of more than 60 billion renminbi ($9.54 billion).

The new investment highlights Alibaba’s ongoing retail strategy, aimed at finessing both offline and online activities, Alibaba said in a statement.

For the three-month period ending 31 December, Alibaba recorded revenues of 83 billion yuan ($12.8 billion) in the third quarter – soaring 56% on last year.

China recorded the highest revenue growth for the quarter, up 57%, counteracting a dull consumer confidence in the Asian nation.

“We delivered another outstanding quarter and our business is performing stronger than ever,” Daniel Zhang, Alibaba’s chief executive officer, said at the time of reporting.

In February, Alibaba announced it would also acquire a 33% in Ant Financial, its digital payment partner.

SEE ALSO : Alibaba to quietly dominate retail

In November, Alibaba agreed to take a $2.9 billion stake in China’s top hypermarket operator, Sun Art Retail Group. Before that, in 2015, Alibaba took a 20 percent stake in local electronics retailer Co for $4.6 billion

The string of ventures by Alibaba signals the fierce competition in China from e-commerce rivals. Tencent revealed a deal with Wanda, paying $5.38 billion for a 14 percent share in the social media platform.