We’ve seen the future of shopping for food in China, and it’s not very high-tech. Instead, businesses such as Hema Xiansheng are relying on speedy service and delivery options to keep customers coming back.
Hema (a pun for ‘hippo,’ the brand’s mascot) is a cashless grocery chain owned by Alibaba that advertises delivery times of as low as 30 minutes.
But – at the risk of sounding like an infomercial – that’s not all. Hema’s physical locations are also a major draw, with in-house restaurants and fresh seafood that can be cooked on demand. That’s in addition to an impressive selection of both domestic and imported goods, plus cool features such as barcodes that can be scanned to reveal a product’s origin.
Image via @红餐网/Weibo
Like coffee delivery chain Luckin – valued at USD2.2 billion in April 2019 – Hema’s won a loyal following thanks to unparalleled convenience. The grocery chain has over 100 stores on the Chinese mainland, and is continuing to branch out into China’s second-tiered cities.
Already, there are 13 stores in Shenzhen and nine in Guangzhou, while Shanghai (29) and Beijing (26) have the most physical locations, according to Hema’s official website. In case you’re wondering how you, too, can take advantage of Hema’s rapid rise, we’ve done the dirty work and compiled a how-to guide on ordering delivery below – for purely journalistic reasons, of course.
Naturally, since it’s Alibaba, you’ll need an Alipay account to checkout.
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