JD.com, the prominent Chinese e-commerce behemoth, has announced its intentions to establish retail grocery stores by merging its 7Fresh supermarket unit with other business lines, including its group-buying arm Pinpin. The company spokesperson, in a statement to Reuters, affirmed that the new division will not only focus on traditional brick-and-mortar stores but also explore novel retail models.
Yan Xiaobing, formerly responsible for JD.com’s international division, will assume leadership of this initiative and report directly to Xu Ran, the CEO of JD.com.
This strategic move comes on the heels of JD.com unveiling an ambitious 20-year blueprint earlier this month, aiming to cultivate seven enterprises with a valuation exceeding $13.83 billion each.
In a highly competitive landscape, JD.com faces formidable rivals such as Alibaba Group, PDD Holdings’ Pinduoduo, and ByteDance’s Douyin (known as the Chinese equivalent of TikTok). Chinese consumers enjoy an expanding range of platforms from which to choose.
JD.com established 7Fresh in 2017 in response to Alibaba’s introduction of Freshippo, a premium physical grocery store. In a recent announcement, Alibaba revealed its plans to initiate an IPO process for Freshippo, as part of the company’s restructuring efforts.
In 2017, JD.com successfully spun off its logistics unit as a separate entity. Additionally, the company intends to spin off its property and industrial units, with each listing planned on the Hong Kong stock exchange in deals estimated at $1 billion apiece, as reported by Reuters in March.