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Suning to expand convenience store presence

Suning.com Co. Ltd. plans to speed up the roll out of its convenience store brand Suning Xiaodian in China as it explores further online and offline integration, the company said at a March 21 news conference.

The Chinese retailer, formerly known as Suning Commerce Group Co. Ltd., plans to open at least 1,500 Suning Xiaodian stores in 2018 after launching the first in Shanghai in January, followed by 3,000 in 2019 and 5,000 in 2020. It aims to have the stores available in more than 240 cities by 2020, including key cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen along with smaller locales such as Zhengzhou, Changsha and Harbin.

Ranging from 20 to 200 square meters, the stores will be located in residential communities, central business districts and transport hubs. They will offer snacks, dairy products, fresh food, fast food and daily necessities, featuring brands such as Unilever NV, Nestlé SA, Coca-Cola Co. and Procter & Gamble Co.

Shoppers scan QR codes on shelves for self-checkout, or they can place orders through the Suning Xiaodian app to have goods delivered to their homes or arrange for in-store pickup. The business offers 30-minute delivery for customers within a one-kilometer radius.

Suning Xiaodian expects 50% of its orders to come from online. It leverages the sourcing networks of Suning.com, the larger e-commerce platform of the group, as well as Suning Supermarket to dispatch goods to customers outside the delivery radius.

Other services provided by the stores will include umbrella rentals and real estate services such as apartment rentals and secondhand property transactions.