Hema opens 1st store in city
2017-10-10 Source:Hangzhou China

Hema’s first store in the city welcomes its first customers, mostly elder people, on the morning of Sept 28. These customers are very adept in using Alipay for payment and they spent a lot on vegetables. Seafoods, such as king crab priced at CNY 520, lobsters from Boston, US for CNY 99 each and salmon sashimi for CNY 39.9 per box, are also very popular.

The first store of Hema in Hangzhou is located at No. 2 Taizhou Rd, Gongshu District. Prior to this store, the Alibaba-backed fresh food supermarket chain opened stores in Shanghai, Beijing and Ningbo. The store’s sales topped those of all nine other stores opened on the same day in four other cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Guiyang and Shenzhen.

The store has a floor area of 2,000 sqm, offering 6,000 types of products from over 100 countries and regions. Unlike ordinary supermarkets, Hema stores offers more “trendy” products like Pepsi blue, Perrier, and Coca Colas of different flavours.

King crabs are sold for only CNY 520 each on the first day of opening, compared to regular price of CNY 899. The store also offers discount of CNY 40 for live Boston lobsters, which is now priced at CNY 99.

For those who are not good at cooking fresh seafoods, Hema offers cooking services for their conveniences. Based on different flavours, customers will be charged CNY 15, 20 or 25 per 500g of seafoods.

Customers may also notice that Hema provides delivery services. Over 1,000 customers have placed orders online even before the opening. Hema stores see 50% more orders in rainy days. Orders by customers from addresses that are within the 3km radius of the store can be delivered within as soon as 30 minutes. There is no threshold for free delivery, which means customers don’t need to pay extra delivery fees even when they only buy a carton of milk or a pack of vegetable. In addition, refunds are unconditionally both online and in the store.

The store has a smart sorting machine that can ensure quick delivery. For example, after customers order a pack of vegetable, two cartons of milk and one live lobster, the store will inform workers to put these products on the conveyor machine before they are wrapped. The how process takes less than six minutes.

Hema's warehouse is its “core.” By virtue of big data and various of smart equipment, the store can efficiently pack the products within 3 minutes based on similarities of products, time of order and customer addresses.

In case of off hours, couriers will have about 20 minutes to deliver the packages. Full-time couriers working for the store is fully loaded now. Hema plans to open four to five stores before year end in the city, and a total of 20 stores in the future, covering almost all residents in the city.

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