Skip to navigationSkip to content
Quartz
Yum.
ANALYSIS

Alibaba’s plan to reinvent retail

Member exclusive by Michael Standaert for Alibaba's next step

The conventional narrative when it comes to e-commerce Goliaths is they’ll wipe brick-and-mortar retailers clean off the face of the Earth. Which is why it may seem odd that Alibaba has charged into brick-and-mortar retail.

The company is supporting a push for what it calls “new retail” by digitizing and merging traditional department stores with online platforms. This has included the $2.6 billion acquisition of the Intime department store chain, with 62 locations in 33 cities in China, and the opening of around 100 of its own, cashier-less Hema supermarkets.

You are reading a Quartz member exclusive.

Become a member to keep reading this story and unlock unlimited access to all of Quartz.

Membership will also get you:

See the rest of our guide to Alibaba's next step

Exclusive videos that show you how the world is changing faster than ever before

Deeper access to our journalists and the Quartz community

Our extensive archive of guides on the forces that are shaping our future