HONG KONG — Leading Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group announced a 5.45 billion renminbi, or $867 million, investment into Beijing Easyhome Furnishing China Store Group Co., yet another off-line retail tie-up as the firm chases its goal of creating a “new retail” experience.
The owner of Tmall and Taobao will leverage Easyhome’s 223 stores across the country, the latest strategic tie-up in order to offer consumers a seamless omnichannel experience. In November last year, it spent $2.88 billion to acquire 36.2 percent of Chinese hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail and $2.6 billion for department store chain Intime Retail last January.
Founded in 1999, Beijing-headquartered Easyhome is the second largest home improvement supplies and furniture chain operator in China. As of December last year, it had recorded sales of more than 60 billion renminbi, or $9.54 billion.
Rival JD.com and its owner Tencent have also been busy snapping up off-line assets. Last week, Tencent struck a deal with Wanda, paying $5.38 billion for a 14 percent share of one the country’s largest mall developers.