Investors can not get enough of Chinese e-grocers thumbnail

WET MARKETS in China have suffered more than many organizations in the pandemic. After one in Wuhan was blamed as the source of covid-19, officials ordered others to shut. Buyers have actually been reluctant to frequent busy outdoor stalls offering fresh meat and veggies. Many may never reopen– not least since they are being quickly displaced by online rivals. The worth of online sales of fresh produce in China, which totaled up to 293 bn yuan ($45 bn) in 2019, before the pandemic, might increase to 570 bn yuan by the end of 2021 (see chart). That would put e-grocers’ share of fresh-food costs at 11%, double what it was before covid-19 It could hit 18%by the middle of the decade.
JD.com is busily adapting its logistics network, China’s most sophisticated, to manage fresh produce. Last year Alibaba invested $3.6 bn on a grocery-store chain, and it has been building a network of grocery stores that can be used to get groceries to online buyers. It ferryboats produce to neighbourhood stores where buyers can pick up orders, getting rid of the problem of the costly last mile, states David Liu, the company’s vice …
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