Sainsbury’s steps up China sales

Sainsbury’s is set to step up online sales of its groceries in China following a successful trial on Alibaba, doubling the number of its products that are available on Alibaba’s Tmall Global online marketplace.

The move to accelerate its presence in China comes after a successful first phase of growth and less than a year into the trial. Sainsbury’s will now sell over 100 Sainsbury’s branded products across four categories – British Breakfast, Drinks, Organic and Baby – on the Tmall Global marketplace. There are plans for further ranges to be added in the autumn and it seems that British breakfast and afternoon tea are customer favourites.

Online Chinese sales are dominated by key promotional sales events and Sainsbury’s and Alibaba announced that Sainsbury’s would  be the only international retailer to have a Super Brand Day on Tmall during the important annual 8.8 Tmall Global Shopping Festival event (8th August).

John Rogers, Chief Financial Officer at Sainsbury’s, said: “Chinese online shoppers are increasingly demanding high quality international products. Many customers also want to replicate tastes and occasions that they have enjoyed or heard about through international travel. Products to make a British breakfast and English afternoon tea have therefore proved hits and top-selling lines to date include Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Granola with raisins, honey and nuts, tea, shortbread and UHT milk.

“Our trial with Tmall has enabled us to learn a lot about China’s huge digital market, including the importance of sales events such as Singles’ Day and 8.8. Alibaba’s expertise in the rapidly growing Chinese digital consumer market will be a huge asset to us as we grow and develop our business in China and we look forward to working with them on this exciting opportunity.”

Amee Chande, Managing Director for Alibaba Group, UK/Ireland & Nordics added, “Alibaba are proud to be providing Sainsbury’s with the online platform to build brand awareness, directly engage a new audience and meet the evolving food and lifestyle demands of the Chinese consumer. As one of the most prominent British retail brands, Sainsbury’s is a key addition to our ecosystem and our collaboration is introducing the large and growing Chinese consumer class to a new range of products to enhance their daily lives.”