Alibaba Group’s new retail platform green-lit to pursue IPO in the next 6-12 months
HONG KONG, May 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Freshippo, Alibaba Group’s digital intelligence-powered new retail company, has formed strategic partnerships with 13 world-renowned retailers, brands, associations and consulting firms, with an aim to expand its range of quality imports, at the same time as it leverages its global supply chain to tailor premium products with its own brands for consumers in China.
Amongst these partners are world-leading meat, seafood and fruit exporters, including Australian supermarket chain Coles, beef suppliers NH Foods Australia and O’Connor, Swiss supermarket chain Migros, Canadian meat exporter Canada Pork, and Norway-based MOWI, the world’s largest Atlantic salmon producer. Fruit exporters joining the partnership include Chile-based Garces Fruit, Zespri from New Zealand and Driscoll’s from the US.
So far this year, Freshippo has formed partnerships with 33 retailers around the world. The company has committed to setting up eight procurement centers globally to identify and locate quality products through local operations and careful sourcing. It has signed agreements of an aggregate value of USD1 billion with strategic partners in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cyprus, Russia and Italy.
HOU Yi, Chief Executive Officer of Freshippo said, “Leveraging our top-notch technology and our highly effective supply chain, Freshippo is committed to scouting the best sources and introducing the best products from around the world to Chinese consumers at the best possible prices, fulfilling their aspirations for a better life. We will also offer ‘Freshippo Solutions’ to importers to help them find the most effective way to introduce their premium food products to Chinese customers.”
Alibaba Group announced on May 18, 2023 that Freshippo is green-lit to pursue initial public offerings (IPO), which is expected to complete in the next 6-12 months. The Group said the business has over the years established differentiated customer value propositions, stable and well-defined business models and a clear path to profitability.
Speeding up import business development
In 2023, Freshippo has accelerated the development of its import business. Last week, the company announced its global supply chain strategy. Quality and unique imports have always been a competitive differentiator for Freshippo, with Fruits, Mother & Baby, Snacks, and Beauty & Personal Care being the most popular categories among its customers. Freshippo has also identified new opportunities for its own brands through expanding imports, combining good-quality ingredients and brand reputation to offer unique and competitively-priced products to its customers.
“Working with world-class retailers, brands and associations has proved the most effective way for us to fast-track the introduction of best-selling items, and debut trending and innovative products, while helping us customize products with our own brands at the point of origin. The “power of commodity” at Freshippo is heightened in terms of the variety, uniqueness and price competitiveness we can offer,” added HOU Yi.
Dr. Will Mulholland, General Manager Exports, Fresh Foods Commercial at Coles, said, “We hope that our partnership with Freshippo will help us to understand more about the Chinese consumer market and help us to bring Australian specialties to the tables of millions of families. Our Coles ice-cream debuted at Freshippo in April, and Chinese consumers will be seeing more Coles branded Australian cuisines in the near future.”
This year also sees Freshippo deepening its holistic strategy, which spans across store formats, channels and product categories. It has branched out from its original Freshippo brand to a multi-format business comprising Freshippo, Freshippo X Membership Store, Freshippo Outlet and more. Sales channels have been broadened beyond bricks-and-mortar and the Freshippo app to other e-commerce and life-service platforms. In terms of product categories, Freshippo now offers not just fresh grocery, but a full range of supermarket products.
Freshippo is Alibaba Group’s digital intelligence-powered new retail company. Its vision is to offer consumers a community-based one-stop new retail experience. Leveraging its technology alongside a human touch, Freshippo adds freshness and beauty to people’s daily lives, fulfilling their aspirations for a better future. Freshippo operates more than 300 stores across 27 cities in mainland China.