The Walmart Sam's Club chain of high-end membership-only shopping centers will soon offer one-hour grocery deliveries in Zhuhai and other PRC stores.
Mike Brugger, deputy chief operating officer of Sam's Club China, said on Feb 8 that the company first trialed fresh-food and baby-product express delivery at its flagship Shenzhen store. Members placed orders at www.samsclub.cn or a mobile app.
Sam's Club gambled in China four years ago by persuading affluent customers to purchase pre-packaged food products without personally inspecting them. For generations, and still today, Chinese shoppers determine the freshness of food by look, smell, touch, and sample before buying it.
Nonetheless, as the number of Sam's customers grew, the chain added online channels. Express service, however, was available only to paying club members in Shenzhen.
Sam's Club in Qianshan [File photo]
By cooperating with leading Chinese retailer JD.com in 2016, Sam's Club was once again able to boost sales. JD is one of the most-visited e-commerce platforms and an impressive logistics network. Sam's thereby could serve potential customers who had no brick-n'-mortar stores in their cities. Even non-members could try the service at a 10 percent surcharge.
China's 11th Sam's Club opened in Zhuhai on 338 N Mingzhu Road, Qianshan in April 2016, delivering one-stop shopping by including florists, bookstores, gymnasiums, and telecom outlets.
Now, the club plans to have 40 stores in China by 2020, which means 21 more will be opened over the next few years, according to Brugger.
In the United States, starting last month, Sam's Club began converting some stores into e-commerce fulfillment centers as part of Walmart's growing commitment to online retailing.