Alibaba, Bailian Form Strategic Partnership In Push For New Retail Model

China's Alibaba Group Holding (baba) said it formed a strategic partnership with Bailian Group, the largest retailer by store numbers to join the e-commerce giant's drive to use big data to improve and profit from brick-and-mortar sales.

Alibaba plans to help upgrade some of the 4,700 stores owned by Bailian across China, integrating things from payment and customer relations to logistics in a way that is similar to tie ups that it has with other companies such as Suning Commerce Group the electronics chain.

An Alibaba spokesman declined to comment on how many stores will be involved in the new partnership. Businesses will increasingly embrace big data and new innovations to better identify, reach, analyze and serve their customers, and their digital transformation will be empowered by Alibaba's ecosystem. Its main business covers department stores, shopping malls, outlets, large stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and specialty retail formats, as well as operating in non-ferrous metals, ferrous metals, automobiles, chemical lighting, electricity, timber and fuel, etc.

Jack Ma, Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman, said the partnership will trigger a reform in the retail industry. Traditional commerce needs to embrace innovation and change to thrive if they are to ride atop this new consumption trend.

Alibaba, which has an active user base of around 500 million, has said it wants to tap China's entire $4.8 trillion retail economy by developing data-driven management tools for retailers and brands.

Consumption contributed 64.6 per cent to China's GDP growth a year ago, as the country moves from an export and investment-driven growth model into one that draws strength from consumption, innovation and the service sector.

Shares in Bailian Group's subsidiaries surged on Monday, with Shanghai Bailian Group Co Ltd climbing by the 10 percent daily limit, Lianhua Supermarket Holdings Co Ltd jumping close to 10 percent and Shanghai Material Trading Co Ltd up 5 percent.

  • Zachary Reyes