In December 2010, Wal-Mart invested in 360buy.com, an ecommerce website. The retail industry-leader recently announced that it plans to invest in a fast-growing Chinese ecommerce website: Yihaodian. The deal is currently under discussion but is slated to be closed within the next 60 days. The amount of money invested in the ecommerce company has not yet been disclosed but it is sure to be significant.
Launched in 2008, Yihaodian delivers over 75,000 products to its online customers. The company currently boasts over 2,000 employees and a logistical networked based out of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. The company is provides products to a fast-growing customer base with a focus on next-day delivery of critical daily items while keeping prices to a minimum. These characteristics have driven the success and profits of Yihaodian.
Online Sales to Surpass the United States
The CEO of Wal-Mart Global Ecommerce and Global Sourcing revealed in a statement that online sales in China are rapidly growing and projected to equal U.S. sales over the next several years. Therefore, by investing in this ecommerce company, Wal-Mart is continuing to establish an ecommerce-based presence and move forward to capture their objectives of becoming a leading global multi-channel retailer.
Wal-Mart’s Investment in China
Wal-Mart launched its first Chinese retail store in 1996. Since that time, China’s booming growth has made it an important part of the Wal-Mart portfolio. Back in November 2004, Wal-Mart donated $1 billion to Tsinghua University to develop China’s first high institution for retailing research.
Two years later, Wal-Mart acquired Trust-Mart for $1 billion. This acquisition was the most important expansion by Wal-Mart in China. Efforts for investing in China continue with the purchase of 360buy.com and now Yihaodian.com.
China as an Emerging Market
Since China is growing at an unimaginable rate, citizens are spending more online. Therefore, Wal-Mart sees this as an excellent opportunity to continue expanding globally on land and Internet. The recent acquisition of these two online retailers is an excellent step in the right direction toward achieving their goals and objectives.
Wal-Mart is a retailing powerhouse that continues to grow and expand. During the past decade, upper management has taken the retailer to an entirely new level and brought them into the digital age. Acquisitions of 360buy.coma and Yihaodian.com further strengthen Wal-Mart’s online presence and in one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the world.