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Walmart acquires minority stake in Yihaodian

The Chinese eCommerce company boasts an impressive online shopping system and next-day delivery

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
May 13, 2011
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1a62

 

Walmart, the big-box leader of the world, on Friday announced its latest strategic investment in Yihaodian, an eCommerce company based in China, with the aim of acquiring a minority stake in the company. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the transaction is expected to close within the next 60 days.

Founded in 2008, Yihaodian offers over 75,000 SKUs on everything from computers and electronics to groceries. The company has a significant footprint in the online grocery industry, and features other popular categories like Baby and Mom, toys, and apparel that come with the promise of next-day delivery and competitive prices. Today, Yihaodian has 2,000 employees and a network that spans Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

"We are excited about this investment.  Online sales in China are growing rapidly and are projected to match U.S. online sales in the next few years,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce and Global Sourcing, in a statement.  “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."

This wouldn’t be Walmart’s first foray into the Chinese market. It opened its first store in China in 1996 and today it has 189 units in 101 cities throughout China. In February, Walmart announced that it had acquired a 35% stake in Bounteous Company, which operates hypermarkets in China under the Trust-Mart banner.

"We are very impressed with Yihaodian's strong management team, solid competence in distribution and outstanding service to their customers,” said Wan Ling Martello, Walmart’s EVP of Global eCommerce and Emerging Markets, in a statement. “We have been equally impressed by the fact that their values are consistent with ours.  We very much look forward to working closely with them going forward."

Image source: Yihaodian.com


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