To help upgrade its logistics, Walmart plans to invest $1.2 billion or 8 billion yuan in China over the next 10 years, per the retailer’s social media account. Walmart also plans to renovate or set up over 10 logistics centers, Reuters reported.
Walmart has been moving to integrate its China retail network amid the “smart retail” movement in the country. Merchants along with tech firms like Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd have made arrangements to bring together high street and eCommerce shopping.
The statement comes after a meeting in Japan between Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump during the weekend, which renewed hope for a trade deal between the U.S. and China.
The news also comes after Carrefour agreed to sell 80 percent of its operations in China for $704 million (620 million euros) to Suning.com. According to reports in May, Carrefour opened its first supermarket in Beijing in 1995 and operates locations in over 70 cities in the country. Net sales, however, reportedly fell about 10 percent in 2018 to 3.6 billion euros, even though Yonghui Superstores and Tencent Holdings took a stake in Carrefour China last year.
The three firms planned to work together on data, mobile payments and smart retail. But “alliances in China have slowed, rather than stopped the revenue decline,” Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Charles Allen said in an April report.
In addition, the retailer is facing competition from eCommerce competitors, especially Amazon. As a result, Carrefour revealed plans last year to expand its eCommerce operations. Chief Executive Officer Alexandre Bompard, in fact, announced plans to invest $3.4 billion USD (2.8 billion euros) in eCommerce by 2022. “Carrefour has reached a turning point in its history,” he said at the time. “We have a huge ambition and I am well aware of the magnitude of this challenge.”