German retail giant, Metro moves online with help from Alibaba

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Investment Hong kong

German retail giant, Metro moves online with help from Alibaba
Germany's largest retailer, Metro has partnered up with one of China's biggest shopping platforms - Alibaba, to branch out in the region where it mainly has dealt in wholesale cash & carry stores.

According to the agreement signed by both firms, Metro will launch its official flagship store on Alibaba's Tmall global platform offering a range of German products to the Chinese consumer.

The partnership ultimately enables Metro to branch out from wholesale into e-commerce in the region, where online shoppers will have access to German private labels as well as supplier brands.

Cross border opportunities

Initially, 100 products, including cosmetics will be available through the site, with more to come as the e-tailers plan to explore cross-border logistics, rural e-commerce, and online-offline opportunities in global sourcing, supply chain and market insights.

"This platform enables us to deliver more quality imported goods and German brands to the Chinese customers through our competence in global sourcing and supply chain,​" says Olaf Koch, chairman of the management board of Metro.

In return, Metro will support Alibaba in establishing the German Pavilion on Tmall by offering products from small to medium-sized German brands to the Chinese market.

“Alibaba and Metro will work together to help more European consumer brands establish fast-track solutions for expanding into the Chinese market,” ​adds Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group.

Alibaba's investment in China

2015 witnessed explosive growth in online shopping overseas, with new buyers accounting for 28 per cent, and with a preference for local specialties in other countries and regions.

With this in mind, Alibaba is investing in a Singapore center this month which will act as the 'headquarters of international business' and cater to two-thirds of its outbound investment to Southeast Asia.

The Chinese e-commerce site is investing US$1 billion in cloud computing, enabling more businesses to benefit from secure and reliable cloud services while riding on record foreign direct investment flows in the region.

With direct connections to Aliyun's data center network via Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Silicon Valley; Chinese businesses will also be a key focus.

"We are seeing healthy demand for cloud-related data management services in Singapore because of the ease of doing business, comprehensive transport and telecommunications connections and robust intellectual property regime. The stable geo-political climate and abundance of highly skilled talent are advantages too​," says Sicheng (Ethan) Yu, Vice President of Aliyun.

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