The news follows the deal announced earlier this year (June 23), when Suning.com revealed it intended to acquire an 80 percent equity stake in Carrefour China for EUR 620 million (RMB 4.8 billion). The transaction completed represents the latest acquisition by Suning following those of Dia China and Wanda Department Stores, as Sunning continues to accelerate the expansion of its brick-and-mortar portfolio for its full-scenario retail model.
Zhang Jindong, Chairman of Suning Holdings Group, said: “This is a key step in Suning’s smart retail plan. Carrefour’s FMCG experience and supply chain capabilities can be integrated with Suning’s full-scenario retail model, solid logistics network and advanced technology. With our smart retail capabilities, Suning can transform the Carrefour stores into fully integrated online-and-offline supermarkets to meet evolving consumer demands.”
On the same day as the transaction was officially completed, Zhang Jindong was joined in Nanjing by more than 20 executives from the headquarters and key regions of Carrefour China. In a specially convened meeting, he outlined the business development plan for Carrefour China and announced the appointment of a new CEO for Carrefour China business, with Tian Rui, Vice President of Suning.com, taking the role.
Zhang Jindong confirmed that Carrefour China will open 300 new stores in China’s tier 1-3 cities over the next five years. He also revealed that Carrefour’s Chinese brand and operation will remain independent, while benefiting from Suning’s retail cloud model, open technology, logistics and supply chain capabilities to better access the lower tier markets.
On September 28, a Suning home appliance section was integrated into more than 200 Carrefour stores. In the future, Carrefour stores in China will also incorporate other Suning assets including mother-infant, sports retail and movie theaters, according to the plans revealed today. Ultimately, Suning seeks to create a one-stop community center, integrating goods, services, experience and leisure.
The upcoming national holiday will become the first milestone of the joint sales promotion of Suning and Carrefour China, with even more offerings to come at this year’s Single’s Day, a shopping holiday popular among young Chinese consumers on November 11.
With a presence in China dating back to 24 years, Carrefour China operates a network of 210 hypermarkets and 24 convenience stores, covering 22 provinces and 51 large and medium-sized cities, with about 30 million members. In 2018, it generated net sales of nearly RMB 30 billion.
The integration of e-commerce companies (online) and supermarkets (offline) is a new trend in the development of the retail industry. The different business models can complement each other and expand the service capabilities along the supply chain. A number of industry commentators are positive about the synergies brought by the acquisition, which will further enhance Suning’s competitiveness by accelerating the company’s development in the FMCG category, enriching its smart retail portfolio, and helping reduce procurement and logistics costs.