(Yicai Global) June 25 -- A unit of Chinese electronics retailer Suning.Com will work with Evergrande Real Estate Group, the country's biggest property developer, to jointly build and operate Suning's shopping centers to expand its offline presence and promote smart retail.
Nanjing-based Suning Commercial Management will set up a joint venture with ERE, with registered capital of CNY20 billion (USD3 billion), Suning.Com said in a statement. NSCM plans to pay CNY9.8 billion in cash for a 49-percent stake in the JV, while Guangzhou-based ERE intends to pay CNY10.2 billion in cash for a 51-percent share.
The new venture will oversee the development and operation of Suning.Com's retail centers called 'Suning Shopping Plazas' which it will site in the new areas of first- and second-tier cities and core shopping districts of third-tier cities. Suning.Com plans to increase the number of such shopping malls to 300 by 2020, it announced in December. The firm had built more than 20 plazas, mostly in Nanjing, Wuxi, Zhenjiang, Fuzhou and Taiyuan and other second- and third-tier cities by the end of 2016.
The move shows how the main battlefield of China's domestic retail players has moved from online to offline. "No single channel, online or offline, can meet consumers' demand for personalized, scenario-based shopping experience at any time and place," said Zhang Jindong, chairman of the parent firm Suning Holdings Group.
"The core of smart retail is to leverage digital networks and the Internet of Things technologies to learn about consumer habits, forecast consumption trends, guide production, and provide personalized products and services to customers," Zhang added.
Editor: Emmi Laine