Kroger to sell groceries into China on Tmall

US supermarket chain Kroger says it will sell groceries into China on Alibaba’s Tmall Global platform.

The Cincinnati-based supermarket chain said its store will first offer Alibaba’s 500 million Chinese consumers items from its Simple Truth natural and organic brand. Since introducing Simple Truth five years ago, it has become the second-largest brand sold in Kroger stores. Sales totalled more than US$2 billion in 2018, also making it the largest natural and organic brand in the US, Kroger said.

“E-commerce enables Kroger to quickly scale to reach new customers and markets where we don’t operate physical stores, starting with China,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer. “We anticipate Chinese consumers will love our brands – starting with Simple Truth products – just like our American customers do. Kroger is proud to continue to lead the way in making natural, organic and free-from products more mainstream and accessible. Sharing Kroger’s exclusive brands and status as a food authority the world over is exciting.”

Kroger said its Tmall Global pilot also supports its “Restock Kroger” initiative, which aims to redefine the grocery experience, including a more data-driven effort around pricing. Specifically, a key part of Kroger’s three-year initiative is to create customer and shareholder value by driving top-line growth through alternative revenue streams.

Alibaba’s Tmall platform is China’s largest B2C marketplace for both Chinese and international brands and retailers, providing a premium shopping experience for China’s consumers. Launched in 2014, Tmall Global is Tmall’s dedicated channel for cross-border e-commerce. It is one of the largest and most-comprehensive, cross-border B2C online marketplaces, and allows brands and retailers without operations in China to build virtual storefronts and ship products into China.

“We are very pleased to be working with Kroger to bring their Kroger Simple Truth products to the Chinese market through our Tmall Global platform. We are always looking to deepen collaboration with our brand partners to create more value for them and we look forward to a fruitful relationship with Kroger,” an Alibaba spokesperson said.

Kroger generated $122.7 billion in sales last year and was the world’s third-largest retailer in terms of revenue. The plan to sell groceries into China should boost that figure further if Chinese consumers embrace the brands.

  • Alizila is the independent (but Alibaba funded) source of news on Alibaba Group activities. 

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