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JD.com wants a network of 5 million stores as e-commerce battle heats up

Chinese retailer JD.com plans to aggressively expand its brick-and-mortar reach— aiming for a network of 5 million physical stores in the next 3 years — as China’s e-commerce companies sharpen their competition for consumers in smaller Chinese cities. Xu Lei, chief executive of JD Retail, said the company is “aware that China’s retail market is huge.” But he added that JD’s business model can have limitations and he therefore wants to “build offline stores on our own and partner with existing players.”

The company’s online model “can only service certain number of consumers. We want to apply our years of experience, including logistics, merchandising and technology to a much wider context,” Xu told CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal. “Therefore, last year, we determined to position JD as an all-channel retail platform.” “In addition to our centralized online app, we also have a lot of de-centralized offline platforms. The offline market is very important to us,” Xu said, speaking to CNBC as part of the annual East Tech West conference, which is being held this year both remotely and in Guangzhou, China. Read from source….