Alibaba’s Futuristic Supermarket in China Is Light-Years Ahead of the U.S.
With a valuation over $500 billion, Chinese tech giant Alibaba is second only to Amazon in e-commerce. But it’s going after the offline world to keep growing. Long before Amazon purchased Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Alibaba was forging into physical retail with investments in supermarket SunArt, department store operator InTime, electronics seller Suning, and furniture store EasyHome, among others. All in all, Alibaba has spent $10 billion on traditional retailers since 2016. At its core, it’s about making it insanely convenient to buy what you need or want in whatever way is the most convenient to you — whether at the store, online, delivered to your home or picked up at a nearby store location. By integrating online and offline, Alibaba thinks it can radically change customers’ shopping experiences for the better while boosting business for its partners. The fresh food-focused supermarket offers customers the ability to shop in-store or on its app, see the origins of the products in the store, have food delivered for free or prepared for pickup within 30 minutes, and pay with facial recognition technology.
forging – create (something) strong, enduring, or successful
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