Alibaba’s presence in the retail world is growing even more through a brand new investment. China’s largest e-commerce player is paying $692 million (€501 million) for a 35 percent stake in Intime Retail, a local retailer.The two companies are going to form a joint initiative to focus on offline-to-online retail opportunities, TechCrunch reports.
According to the statement made by Alibaba and Intime, the new initiative will “provide a more convenient shopping experience” to customers. Basically, they will search for new ways to combine the traditional retail outlets with the e-commerce platform that Alibaba has developed.
Intime Retail is a rather big name in the business and has several high-end department stores, shopping malls, but also the online marketplace called Yintai.
Tmall, Alibaba’s store specifically created for major brands, will gain access to the entire inventory of products from Intime, which should lead to a broader selection of products from international brands. To top things off, Intime customers will be able to skip the trip to the store and just purchase their favorite clothes from the comfort of their homes.
“We see significant opportunities to extend our e-commerce platform to physical retail, developing a more engaging, omnichannel and digitally-connected shopping experience,” said Daniel Zhang, COO of Alibaba Group.