Alibaba and Bailian
joint-venture Ego stores debut in Shanghai
Take a look inside the first of 500 fresh-food and convenience stores planned by Alibaba and Bailian, which has opened in Shanghai.
(Author : Robert Stockdill)
The fruits of Alibaba’s joint venture with Bailian Group are on show in Shanghai where the first of 500 Ego stores planned this year is now trading. According to mainland media reports, the joint venture has leased space for up to 30 outlets under the Ego brand already. Two formats are planned – larger central stores with footprints of between 300sqm and 500sqm, and smaller satellite stores of about 100sqm.
Analysts say the Ego format – the stores are bannered Ego 逸刻 (which translates to Escape) – will bring together the back-end expertise of Alibaba Group with Bailian’s brick-and-mortar convenience experience.
Bailian and Alibaba announced their strategic cooperation in February 2017 jointly creating what they described as a “New Retail, new consumption, new future” concept. They pledged to work together to use big data and internet technologies in areas including efficient supply chain integration, customer membership systems, seamless payment interconnections, and logistics synergy.
“More than two years after Alibaba’s RMB1 billion deal with Bailian Group, we can finally see some fruits of this collaboration,” observed China-based entrepreneur, speaker, coach and author Dr Mirko Wormuth, who posted these accompanying photos on LinkedIn.
About two-thirds of the Ego store area is dedicated to fresh or hot products, including coffee, baked bread and hot meals. The remaining space sells bottled and packaged foods.
The first store in Shanghai is equipped with three self-checkout machines, in addition to Alipay checkout, and encourages consumers to pay by Bailian wallet.