Freshippo, Alibaba Group’s high-tech grocery chain, said it had opened 12 stores in eight cities across Mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
Freshippo, widely known as Hema in Chinese, has grown into one of the country’s largest supermarket chains since its launch in 2015. The company has over 300 stores in dozens of cities nationwide.
Alibaba said in May it had set Freshippo on the path to an initial public offering (IPO) within six to 12 months.
Seven of the new stores are in the grocery chain’s latest store design, with a greater variety of products, a broader delivery area and a bigger shopping space.
Also in expansion mode, its budget brand, Freshippo Outlets, opened five stores in Shanghai in the Songjiang, Pudong and Minhang districts, expanding its network to 68 stores across 14 cities in mainland China.
Freshippo is targeting younger, digitally savvy consumers as China’s economic recovery from the pandemic gathers steam.
Freshippo said its new store in Guangzhou Science City, in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, is home to around 550,000 people, and nearly 90% of them are between 19 to 44 years old.
In “2022 China’s Top 100 Chain Stores,” published by the China Chain Store & Franchise Association, Freshippo ranked eighth among the top 100 chain stores, entering the top 10 for the first time and sixth among the top 100 supermarkets in Mainland China.
Freshippo also has relatively high sales per store compared with its peers in the sector, the report said.