Wal-Mart wants to become "leading global multi-channel retailer"

Wal-Mart wants to become "leading global multi-channel retailer"

Wal-Mart Stores announced today (13 May) its acquisition of a minority stake in Chinese e-commerce operator Yihaodian.

Yihaodian was launched in July 2008 and offers more than 75,500 SKUs. Wal-Mart said the company has achieved a "significant position" in online grocery sales as well as mother and baby, consumer electronics and apparel.

It has some 2,000 employees and a logistics network based in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. The firm offers "next-day delivery of essential everyday items at competitive prices", the US retail giant said.

Wal-Mart's executive vice president of global e-commerce in emerging markets, Wan Ling Martello, said the retailer is "very impressed" by Yihaodian's "strong" management team, "solid competence" in distribution and "outstanding service to customers".

Eduardo Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart's executive chairman and CEO of Wal-Mart global eCommerce and global sourcing, added: "We are excited about this investment. Online sales in China are growing rapidly and are projected to match US online sales in the next few years. By investing in Yihaodian, we're continuing to establish a presence in this important eCommerce market, and are moving forward on fulfilling our aspiration of being the leading global multichannel retailer."

Wal-Mart entered China in 1996 and operates some 333 stores under its Supercenter, Sam's Club, Neighborhood Markets and Trust-Mart formats in the country.