Jack Ma marked the year 2017 as the first year of Alibaba’s retail business. From 2017, Alibaba business empire expands its territory—involved in the convenience stores with Lingshoutong (零售通), supermarkets with Hema Xiansheng (盒马鲜生) and Bailian (百联), department stores with the privatized Yintai (银泰), and local life service platform with Koubei (口碑). In the whole offline retail business, Alibaba has not stepped into the shopping mall till now.
Recently, Linkshop exclusively learns that Alibaba is building the first self-owned shopping mall—“More Mall” (“猫茂”).
The first “More Mall” will build at the Alibaba’s headquarter—Xixi Park in Hangzhou province. It will locate at the Taobao town and cover an area of 40,000 square meters with 5 floors, which is under construction and expected to put into operation in April, 2018. According to insiders, “More Mall” has the following characteristics:
Manipulate only by “Aliers”: built by Ali Intelligent Building, and investment team all from “Aliers”.
According to another informed source, the project was firstly operated by Pengxin Group, the operator of Nanjing AQUA City, and later changed into Alibaba’s own investment team, but Pengxin still provides teams to help.
However, insiders reveal that Pengxin Group has terminated the contract, and some people leaved Pengxin for Alibaba.
New retail technology lands: “More Mall” will equipped with a series of Alibaba’s new retail technologies. Linkshop learned that on June 17, Tmall opened “new retail showroom”, which displayed a series of new retail products driven by technologies including the Tianyanar, “future make-up mirror” and “virtual fitting room” at Kerry Centre and Yintai Center in Hangzhou Province. At that time, Liubo, general manager of Tmall marketing platform, said that it was only a start, and many things were still not mature. Tmall aims to normalize these technologies to create smoother O2O. Insiders said that many related technologies were already mature and “More Mall” would provide these technologies platform for large-scale commercial. What’s more, some Tmall ideas will “land” at this mall.
Amoy Brand and traditional brands coexist: with the Internet traffic touching the top, although relying on Taobao and Tmall, Amoy Brand still need to seek offline opportunities. According to insiders, “More Mall” will introduce a number of Amoy brands and influential traditional brands.
In fact, Alibaba has reached many new cooperation intentions in retail business with lots of brands this year. For example, on August 30, Tmall announced a new retail strategic cooperation relationship with Heilan Garment (HLA). In the future, 5,000 offline HLA will cooperate with Tmall closely to form new retail “smart store”.
Hema Xiansheng flagship store: the main store of “More Mall” will introduce Alibaba’s new retail pioneer brand—Hema Xiansheng, which will also be the flagship store of Hema in Hangzhou.
Hema Xiansheng will go into Hangzhou in the second half of this year. The first store will open at the Gongshu district recently. At present, the store has started recruited staff and trained the delivery person.
The Pacific Cineplex: Insiders said that in the entertainment industry, “More Mall” will introduce the Pacific Cineplex of the Emei Film Group.
With the completion of “More Mall”, Alibaba completed the sample construction of the main industry including the offline convenience stores, supermarkets, department stores and shopping centers. In July this year, Alibaba announced the establishment of “five new executive committee”, and adjusted the internal organizational structure into the new retail. After that, Alibaba basically completed the theory and framework construction and will face a large-scale trial and expansion period in the following 3 to 5 years.
So, what will happen to Alibaba’s first shopping center “More Mall”? Can it usher in a new epoch? The Linkshop will continue to pay attention to the report.
This article originally appeared in Linkshop and was translated by Pandaily.
Click here to read the original Chinese article.