Walgreens joins Kroger on Alibaba bandwagon

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Walgreens joins Kroger on Alibaba bandwagon

By Louisa Hallett - 09/20/2018
Walgreens eyes a beautiful opportunity to expand in China with Alibaba's T-Mall platform.

Walgreens eyes a beautiful opportunity to expand in China with Alibaba's T-Mall platform.

The two companies announced  the launch of a Boots flagship store on T-mall Global, Alibaba’s B2C platform for international brands and retailers, to introduce a number of iconic Boots beauty brands to more than half a billion consumers on Alibaba’s platforms in China.

“We are truly excited to be launching our online flagship store in China exclusively on T-mall Global. This is a great opportunity for us to increase the internationalization of our products and to utilize the many innovative technologies that Alibaba has developed, Ken Murphy, Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boot Alliance and Chief Commercial Officer and President of Global Brands, said. “At the same time, our collaboration with T-mall Global complements our presence in wholesale and retail pharmacy in China with a new, fantastic channel, through which we can distribute our beauty brands in a market with almost endless possibilities.”

Walgreens is not the only American company that is using Alibaba as a means to find a market in China. In August, Kroger announced that its popular Simple Truth brand will be available on Alibaba's T-mall platform. The company said that its new online store will introduce Our Brands to international customers for the first time through its new Alibaba partnership. Kroger's online store test will start with select Simple Truth items, providing Alibaba's more than half a billion Chinese consumers with easy access to America's largest natural and organic brand.

The beauty and cosmetics sector in China has been registering impressive growth rates. Data from Euromonitor reveals that total retail sales of skincare products and make-up products in China reached RMB 186.7 billion and RMB 34.4 billion (or $27.26 billion and $5.02 billion*), respectively, in 2017, achieving year-on-year growth of more than 10 percent and 21 percent. More broadly, online retail sales in China passed the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2017, making China the world’s leading e-commerce market.

*Exchange rate as of September 13, 2018.

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