Alibaba invests another $1.3 billion into its offline retail strategy

Alibaba

The Chinese firm, Alibaba has shown considerable growth in its physical retail presence after the company invested around another billion dollars into projects to develop companies “new retail strategy” combining online and offline platforms.

The dominant e-commerce player in China bought up a 15 percent stake in Beijing Easyhome Furnishing for RMB 5.45 billion I.e., $867 million(approx.) and invested $486 million into a big data retail firm. Both of the deals were announced over the weekend.

As per the stats, Beijing Easyhome operates 223 physical home furnishing and DIY-style stores across 29 provinces in China-second largest in this field in the country.

The second deal is made for a 38 percent shareholding stake in Shiji Retail Information Technology,a venture which deals with hotels and high-street services on data-related services and giving them solutions for increasing customer footfall.

The Beijing Easyhome deal is the fourth major investment made by the e-commerce giant in the brick and mortar sector.Last year, it bought major share in hypermarket firm Sun Art(around $2.9 billion) and shopping mall operator InTime(around $2.6 billion). Earlier also, the company invested in high profile electronics retailer Suning(around $4.6 billion deal).

The company has also introduced its independent Hema supermarket chain, a chain which is counted among the list of early adopters of cashier-less checkouts.

Alibaba’s vision for the future of the retail market is aimed to permit buyers to shop in-store while using the benefits of mobile. The company’s newest investors knock at the door just before Chinese New Year, and a little over a week after it spent $500 million dollars supporting two of India’s most prominent on-demand start-ups.

Recently, the Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba bought around one-third of e-grocer Big Basket for $300 million to become its largest shareholder. It is directly placed alongside its arch-rival Amazon in India. The Chinese firm also supported food delivery platform Zomato with a $200 million investment made via company’s Ant Financial subsidiary.