China's largest online supermarket Yihaodian is to open 1,000 virtual stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Each store will be around 1,200sq m, located near urban parks, business campuses and office buildings where smartphones are heavily used. Consumers will use a Yihaodian mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android devices.

The stores contain images of food products and prices, which consumers can browse and then order using their mobile phones: their apps will use GPS to pinpoint what they have bought, and process payment. Goods are then delivered to the consumers' home.

The virtual stores will share the same products as Yihaodian's online store.

"The new shopping style is more like an interactive game. We expect to attract consumers who like to try something new and who don't like to do shopping sitting in front of a computer," said a Yihaodian spokesperson.

Shanghai-based Yihaodian earned CNY2.72bn (US$429.7m) in sales in 2011, up from CNY800.5m in 2010.