After Amazon, another tech giant Alibaba is trying its luck in grocery business. According to industry insiders the Chinese etailer is planning to buy RT-Mart supermarket chain to gain supremacy in online grocery business. Alibaba’s compatriot and one of the major competitors JD.com- an online electronic commerce company, is also eyeing to expand its portfolio to venture into the multibillion grocery industry. The company plans to achieve $14.5 billion in sales this year.
Alibaba is in talks with Sun Art, the owners of RT-Mart supermarket for creating an offline presence for the company, indicating that the future of retailing clearly demands online-offline combination. Many of the recently initiated online supermarkets in the country has received cold reception from the market forcing them to either scale down or shut down operation. This list includes Amazon backed Yummy77, Tablelife, Yiguo and Fruitday among many others.
Unlike Alibaba, JD.com has not yet revealed its plans to start an online grocery store in China. The etailer neither has plans to venture into offline business now. But JD.com has tie-ups with world’s largest grocer Walmart, which gives qualms to Alibaba who plans to venture into grocery market. Alibaba is understood to have been in talks with Sun Art for two months now and both companies are reportedly finalizing on an unspecified agreement. Another report suggests that Alibaba might even consider acquiring Sun Art.