Alibaba Mall Moves Internet Giant Further Into Physical Retail

Construction is well underway on a five-story Alibaba mall that is scheduled to open in April 2018, according to Chinese financial group Caixin. Located near Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou, China, the “More Mall” is being built on a 40,000-square-meter plot of land. It will reportedly house unique brands from the Alibaba e-Commerce platform Taobao, along with conventional retail brands and a Hema supermarket store.

Alibaba has been steadily moving into brick-and-mortar retail, opening up 13 Hema stores since 2015. That was the year Alibaba launched the Hema app, which allows shoppers to order groceries via their phones and pay with the Alipay platform. The brick-and-mortar Hema supermarkets are designed to cater specifically to mobile consumers, particularly those located within a three-kilometer radius of the stores to ensure speedy, high-level service. Additionally, in January 2017 Alibaba made a $2.6 billion offer to take China’s Intime department store chain private.

The mall is in line with the “new retail” era for Alibaba, its strategy to blend online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain. Alibaba will reportedly bring new retail technologies to More Mall, including high-tech makeup testing mirrors and virtual fitting rooms, according to MarketWatch. Alibaba unveiled these technologies in June in a “New Retail Interactive Store” in a Hangzhou shopping mall.


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