Sainsbury’s steps up groceries trial in China

Following a trial, Sainsbury’s plans to grow its business in China by developing its partnership with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba.

The supermarket chain will double the number of its products that are available on Alibaba’s Tmall Global online marketplace.

The move by Sainsbury’s to accelerate its presence in China comes less than a year after the trial was launched.

Sainsbury’s will now sell over 100 Sainsbury’s branded products across four categories – British Breakfast, Drinks, Organic and Baby – on the Tmall Global marketplace. More ranges will be added this autumn.

Online Chinese sales are dominated by key promotional sales events, and Sainsbury’s was the only international retailer to have a ‘Super Brand Day’ on Tmall on Monday (August 8), during the annual 8.8 Tmall Global Shopping Festival event.

Sainsbury’s chief financial officer John Rogers said: “Chinese online shoppers are increasingly demanding high quality international products.

“Many customers also want to replicate tastes and occasions that they have enjoyed or heard about through international travel.

“Products to make a British breakfast and English afternoon tea have therefore proved hits and top-selling lines to date include Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Granola with raisins, honey and nuts, tea, shortbread and UHT milk. 

“Our trial with Tmall has enabled us to learn a lot about China’s huge digital market, including the importance of sales events such as Singles’ Day and 8.8.

“Alibaba’s expertise in the rapidly growing Chinese digital consumer market will be a huge asset to us as we grow and develop our business in China, and we look forward to working with them on this exciting opportunity.”

Amee Chande, managing director for Alibaba Group, UK/Ireland & Nordics, added: “Alibaba are proud to be providing Sainsbury’s with the online platform to build brand awareness, directly engage a new audience and meet the evolving food and lifestyle demands of the Chinese consumer.

“As one of the most prominent British retail brands, our collaboration with Sainsbury’s is introducing the large and growing Chinese consumer class to a new range of products to enhance their daily lives.”

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