With the popularity of “small retail” growing in China, Walmart has opened a small-format supermarket in the city of Shenzhen. The location carries items that consumers can also buy on the retailer’s store on JD Daojia, Reuters reported.
The store stocks thousands of items from fresh fruit to clams, and consumers will be able to buy 90 percent of those items online. In addition, customers within 2 kilometers of the store can opt for delivery — and delivery times can be as fast as 29 minutes.
To pay for items at the new store, customers can use a program within Tencent’s WeChat while shopping. As a result, they can avoid checkout counters. The move comes a few days after Walmart inked a deal with Tencent to use WeChat Pay, its popular payment app, in all of its stores in the western region of China.
Reuters, citing Walmart, had said the move underscores a market in China that is dividing into either the Alibaba camp with its Alipay digital payment service or the Tencent camp with its WeChat payment app. Both companies have been pouring billions of dollars into the retail market since the beginning of 2017, aiming to dominate the mobile-payment market.
A Walmart spokeswoman had told Reuters it had entered into a partnership with WeChat Pay, a business decision aimed at improving the experience for customers. The western region of China includes Sichuan, Yunnan and Gansu — which, while large, is less populated than the eastern part of China.
“In the future, Walmart will cooperate with more partners to provide payment solutions with more convenience and benefits,” the spokeswoman said. She added that Walmart accepts different payment methods including cash, payment cards and mobile payments.
The deal with Walmart comes a few weeks after Tencent was able to hit the threshold of more than one billion accounts.