Alibaba’s Grocery chain Freshippo Courts Overseas Retailers Ahead of IPO

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Alibaba’s Grocery chain Freshippo Courts Overseas Retailers Ahead of IPO

  • Freshippo debuted a global supply chain strategy last month to find and provide quality imported goods for Chinese consumers
  • Australia was the latest stop for platform executives on their world tour to speak with major brands

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Alibaba Group’s high-tech grocery chain Freshippo spoke with over 40 Australian brands about importing their produce to China during a recent sourcing trip to Australia, part of its push to bring global brands to Chinese consumers.

Freshippo received the green light in May to pursue a public listing.

During the one-week trip in early June, the platform’s top executives crisscrossed the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales to meet with local brands.

“This has been a fruitful trip for Freshippo. We had the opportunity not only to connect with existing clients but also to expand our network and explore potential collaborations with outstanding Australian brands,” Hou Yi, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Freshippo, said in a statement.

He was joined on the road by Joy Zhao, Co-Founder of Freshippo, and April Huang, Head of Global Sourcing, who also spoke at an agribusiness symposium in Melbourne.

So far this year, the platform has formed sourcing partnerships with 33 retailers worldwide, including Australia-based supermarket chain Coles and beef supplier NHFoods Australia. During the recent trip, the team also engaged with brands like Woolworths, Australia’s largest supermarket chain by market share.

“This expansion… reflects our commitment to connect more Australian producers and exporters with China’s vast consumer potential through the Freshippo platform,” said Pier Smulders, General Manager of Alibaba Group, Australia and New Zealand, in a statement.

Feeding Global Appetites

Demand for imported food products among Chinese consumers is growing, and Freshippo is working to keep its more than 300 stores across 27 Chinese cities well-supplied.

In May, the platform kicked off its global supply chain strategy by forming strategic partnerships with 13 retailers, brands, associations and consulting firms in Shanghai.

Freshippo also committed to setting up eight procurement centers around the world, in addition to signing agreements worth more than $1 billion in total with partners in Europe and Southeast Asia.

“This is the third trip I have made since December,” Huang told the audience at the Global Food Forum.

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